The Cab Driver
“…he who is loving his brother, in the light he doth remain, and a stumbling-block in him there is not;” 1 John 2: 10 Young’s Literal Translation
A few years ago I had to fly to Connecticut to pick up a car we had purchased. I had not had much sleep the night before and found none on the flight. I had a tight schedule that would mean driving 13 hours straight back to Toledo. I got off the plane and had a 45-minute cab ride where I felt like I could finally catch a little sleep before the long return drive.
I got into the cab and discovered immediately that the driver was a talker, and his language was laced with profanity. My initial mindset was, “For the love of all that is decent…please stop talking!” Of course, while my brain thought that, my face just smiled and I listened attentively as he used the most offensive curse word in nearly every sentence.
As we drove he began to open up with some personal things, sharing about his life, his disappointments, and his unmet goals. As I listened to his foul words and his “guy” approach and verbiage to his stories, my heart began to soften. I took less offense and started listening to the Holy Spirit for what to say to encourage him in the Lord.
When he spoke of his wife (after telling me stories that he thought all guys would understand, dealing with the “universal guy” frustrations of how women are), he said something very supportive of her in an unguarded moment. It had to do with his staying with her for 30 years, and it was a positive comment, not a complaint. There was an awkward moment of silence when he realized that was not “cool” on the “guy” meter. But I responded with a statement of approbation for his commitment to her.
I spoke of my 30 years of marriage and what a constant blessing it was. Then he started talking about his wife in ways that I was certain he does not share with others because it was tender and vulnerable. I don’t even remember what else we talked about the rest of the way, but when we got to the dealership (20 minutes later than we should have), he just turned in the front seat and with a spirit of brokenness said he wanted to talk a little more.
I got to share eternal things with him and had the opportunity to pray with him in his cab. The one who was foul and I just wanted to be silent, was the one I got to minister to and pray for. All I had done was let go of what I wanted and learn to love Him in Jesus. People can be demanding of our time but we must remember that it is an honor to serve Jesus as we serve others. It is easy to forget how to be His servant.
J Todd Hostetler