Last Friday afternoon in Jerusalem it rained. Really rained. I was staying with a friend of mine north of the city. He told me to get the bus, which I managed, though I did get soaked in the process.
So, on the bus and my instructions are to wait until the bus turns left off the highway, get off by the supermarket and my friend will come and meet me. The bus sets off and all the windows are misted up. Eventually, it turns left. I knew this was okay since once it had been round the estate on the left, it would cross the road and go to where I needed to be.
It didn’t. It went round and round and round the different streets. The condensation was so bad I couldn’t see at all out of the windows. I got worried so I called my friend. He reassured me. Just stick with it he said. So I waited whilst the bus emptied out and eventually I was the last one there. The bus driver asked where I was going and I sort of explained to him where I needed to be. He drove on for a minute or two and then stopped.
He went to the back of the bus, checked under the seats for anything simply left behind or more sinister, checked the suitcase was mine and returned to the front. He then opened a locked box and pulled out his prayer mat. He laid it carefully in the middle of the bus and said his afternoon prayers. Once finished he replaced the mat in its box and then spoke with my friend on my phone as to exactly where I needed to be and then dropped me in the right spot.
So with little fuss, one man from one faith, did his job, said his prayers and helped another man from a different faith get to his destination so he could say his. This is Israel, sometimes the little stories help you understand the bigger picture…