Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Who the f$%^& hell are you?"

Stepping off one of New South Wales Department of Transport’s finest buses today I found myself intervening to stop verbal abuse.  A fellow passenger - an elderly gentlemen - delivered the abuse.  The abuse recipient was the bus driver.  My intervention arose as I was stepping off the bus directly behind the abuser.  My intervention arose in part as the abuser had earlier, while seated, made his negative views known to any passengers who cared to listen.  Basically, the chap was a fueled bomb and it was clear that he would let rip.

The abuse centred upon the driver’s earlier interpretation of a traffic light.  The traffic light had been about 100 metres earlier in the journey.  It seemed that the abuser was quite disturbed that the bus driver’s cautious (and therefore safe and road courteous) interpretation of the changing traffic lights had bought grief in that it had extended the bus journey.  The abuse was possibly loaded in that the driver was of a foreign ethnicity.

The exact abuse is not worth repeating.  Suffice to say it include repetition of a four letter word beginning with “f”.

I said with a firm and raised voice: “Excuse me sir (using that word loosely), I will not have you speaking to an esteemed official of the New South Wales government in that way”. ('Esteemed official' is a stretch, yet I was using it to try to disarm the abuser).

The intervention was powerful only in that it saved the driver from any further verbal abuse – the attention was now on me.

“Who the f$%^ hell are you?", asked the gentleman.

Ignoring such a question is usually best.  His female partner was quick to chime in: “No [name], stop it, last time you spent overnight in a police cell”.  I chose to walk off - countering the elderly gentlemen’s mobility speed required no surplus effort.

It did make me think though! How could I have answered?.  'Could', not 'should'.  Let’s see how it could have played out:

“Who the f$%^ hell are you?" asked the gentlemen.

“Why, thank you for asking.
I am washed clean, bought to salvation by the living Jesus Christ.  The same Christ who sent his Holy Spirit to counsels and speaks to God on behalf of those who call Jesus Lord.
I am a citizen of heaven, worthy before God; part of the church, the bride, that awaits its bridegroom.  Citizens of heaven are assured everlasting life and blessed with gifts of the Spirit.
I have access to my heavenly Father through prayer and play a role as part of God’s royal priesthood.
Those who are in Christ have these assurances because the Bible tells them so.
Does that answer your question sir?  Should I continue?"


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