The Delayed Public Bus
Lucy grows in wisdom and understanding and never allows a day to pass without reading a chapter from the Bible and meditating on it. She is in her seventh grade, and she perceives a mission God has entrusted to her to bring various human values into different areas of society’s life. For that, she has a conviction that each person has to grow and never be stagnant. Lucy has a meaningful reflection on it. They compose a family of individuals, and the home is the first school for any child to develop its overall growth. If all the person’s physical, psychological, and spiritual needs get taken care of, the family can be good at least sixty per cent. Good families help create a friendly society. A healthy community enables and supports all persons. Without this, we cannot build a responsible nation up. When good persons are in different institutions or offices, we can remove corruption gradually from such places. A corruption-free society can build up brotherhood, peace, tolerance of all religions, and all can live in harmony. She thinks that this is not merely an ideological thing, but it is practical and is possible to make it a reality with the cooperation of all. Lucy believes and gets convinced of the achievement of such a healthy human society. The belief that God has given every human person the resources for it, and everyone has to use them, is firm.
Reflecting on her three extraordinary gifts, namely ascending in the air, keeping away from others’ sight, and the mental ability to move objects from one place to another, she sees the silver line in helping people. Lucy is sure that God has generously given her these three gifts to build up a new world. She often says every fruit-bearing tree starts with a tiny seed. She is very clear about her constructive reflection. Many drops only form an ocean. She knows that her best contribution to improving human conditions is only like a drop of water in a vast ocean. Yet, she feels her mission to contribute to that drop is a personal call from God. That inner fire prompting her to do good to others makes her get convinced God has given various talents and virtues to every person, with no exception to fulfil the call of each one effectively. The only difference is what one has and the other one may not have. The call to each one to contribute to the growth of others is different. Therefore, she believes that comparing one’s qualities with others can be the starting point of self-destruction. Like small streams carrying an additional amount of water and resources to form a mighty river, each human person must combine all their varying resources to create a reliable power to build a healthy human society where all can live harmoniously. God has sent each person to this world for that purpose alone. To fulfil that purpose, God has given the necessary resources to all. We have to realize and believe in this truth. If we don’t recognize this truth, we may fail and take wrong diversions on our life’s journey, contrary to fulfilling the purpose of life.
We fail until we recognize this truth and take the right road to continue the journey of victory. Once we realize it, we begin the upward movement of growth. It’s like climbing up a ladder, going higher and higher. What follows is a success, and success is contagious. So start now, jump into action and avoid remaining in daydreaming of hits. We have to appreciate and be grateful for all the talents and good qualities God has installed within us. Start here and now. We have to use them for the common good. Lucy wants to teach her companions and others these principles of victory and through her companions influence their family members, it will go viral. She seems to have the clarity and determination to do what she judges as accurate and convinced. She gives credit to her prayer and Jesus for these challenging ideas. Everything starts with an idea. Lucy is quite good at her studies and is a polite girl. But she hides her special powers in humility from everybody to help improve the quality of others’ life. Recently she has recognized one more ability, to imitate speaking in another person’s voice without a mistake.
Lucy is getting ready to go to her school with her neighbourhood friends. On the way to school, just in front of their public bus, an accident takes place, and it blocks the road and gets jammed. The children get worried now. If they get late for the school assembly, the harsh Principal can give them a good pasting before all the children. They cannot imagine it taking place with them. There is no way except the bus goes back to take another road to reach the school. The prudent driver hurries, reverses, evades, and he takes the bus out of this chaos. He takes the bus through a longer route to reach the school faster. When they get to school, the School Assembly has already started. The Principal is watching them enter the gate and quietly joining with other students for the school assembly. She calls all ten latecomers to the podium where the Principal is. The children are scared, though Lucy is relaxed and calm. The Principal gets ready to beat the helpless children. She calls the first one, and she urinates in her dress in fear. The poor girls tremble and cry before the entire school.
As the teacher raises her hand to beat the first girl, Lucy begins her work without anybody’s notice. As the Principal brings down the stick with full force onto the girl’s hand, Lucy makes the teacher go upward in the air. It horrifies her, and she remains in the air helplessly. Lucy makes herself invisible to others as all eyes are on the frightened Principal and her hands fluttering like a butterfly in the air. She can’t believe what she’s undergoing. Humiliation numbs her; some of the children cannot even control their giggling. It shatters her blown-up ego; she becomes emotional and cries aloud, suspended in the air. Lucy ascends to the level of the teacher, but invisible to all, and tells in her ears in an old woman’s voice, "You are a mother to all these children, not a terrorist. Have you inquired why the girls have come late? Without finding out, why do you punish them? Never beat them today onward, but love them, you will be joyful, and all will appreciate your mature action. When you love them, they can learn to love and respect others better, and can study better. When the love vibration moves through the students and staff, there will be unity and joy, and the school will function better." The Principal understands this mysterious voice she has just heard, and she believes it as wisdom from God. She feels consoled that no one has listened to what she has heard.
Lucy then goes down to the children and makes herself visible to all. The teacher realizes her harsh dealings with the students and the staff. She chooses to change her ways and decides to love and respect all, including the youngest in the school. After hearing this secret message, her fear goes away, though, feels ashamed of her experience in the air. She builds up courage and, in humility, asks the children to pardon for her past rough dealings. At that moment, Lucy brings her down. The Principal then faces the entire school in the public system to ask pardon, and then she embraces each of the ten in personal reconciliation.
"Teacher, please don’t ask pardon from us, you are our Principal, our mother, our elder sister and you may beat us as a corrective action. It’s just alright." Lucy consoles her Principal.
The Principal’s and Lucy’s responses evoke emotions in the whole Assembly, and they have not forgotten to clear the tears of joy from their cheeks.
The Principal event has changed the school atmosphere for a better rapport, communication between the Principal, the staff, and the students. The students’ constructive efforts have brought about certain visible changes in their relationship with each other. Lucy has been instrumental in that. The teachers’ decision never to use any stick in the school has produced a magical effect. All appreciate the miraculous growing cooperation between the staff and students. The rebellious, unfriendly students have now turned into loving, obedient children. The appreciating filial love of the teachers has replaced the punishing attitude about them. All the teachers and students have now experienced the miraculous power of love doing its rounds in their lives, and the result is cordial and magnetic. The free choice of the staff and students for a better life and work in the school has proved fruitful. Their improved academic performance has shown it well. In this process, the Principal, staff, and students have recognized the leadership qualities in Lucy. Their heart’s desire gets fulfilled when they have elected Lucy as the school captain. Under her leadership, the Institution makes big jumps in every area of school life for all.
There is a girl named Rani in grade five, and she always hits, kicks, pushes, bites, and bullies her companions, sometimes like a ferocious dog. She has great difficulty controlling her quick temper. She often drives other children; as a result, some children are afraid and don’t want to come to the school. Lucy attempts to find out why Rani behaves so. She realizes that Rani’s father is an alcoholic; poverty eats up their peace, shouts, and fights with all at home. So she cannot study at home. Knowing the family background of Rani, Lucy gives more love and is very supportive of her. As Lucy takes a lot of creative interest in the school’s growth, many children feel free and talk to her about their problems. This good rapport she has created between her and the students has brought back a few victims of bullying in school. Lucy is very compassionate towards all the troubleshooting children, talks to them, and keeps friendly with them. As she has a magnetic personality, she influences them to healthy behaviours. Watch, the Rani, is picking up a quarrel with a timid girl, Pavana.
Rani is lifting her hand with uncontrollable rage to hit the timid girl. In a flash, instead of hitting her, Lucy makes Rani go up in the air, and her fist hits herself, missing the timid Pavana and remains in the air struggling in terrible fear. Rani realizes it’s because of her inappropriate behaviour. She’s in the air, undergoing precisely like the experience of the Principal earlier. Rani cries and asks the timid girl pardon for fighting with her, and she promises never to hurt her anymore. At that moment, Lucy brings her down. Immediately Rani touches the feet of Pavana, the timid girl, embraces her, begging for forgiveness. Since then, Rani and Pavana have become noble friends. Many types of these events have taken place in the school, bringing peace and harmony among the warring students. So Lucy gets a comfortable chance to tell them that God never likes such fights and enmity among them or anybody else.
"God wants us all to respect and be friends with each other." She tells them all as the school captain.
The bullies have stopped their mischievous activities, and they experience a significant improvement in their studies. As the students have started placing their trust in Lucy, she has begun to teach them to respect the elders, love the teachers and work for the good of others. Lucy’s efforts have started influencing the whole student community there. She takes the initiative to organize a work camp in the neighbouring villages for hygiene conscientization practically. Lucy was leading the sixth-grade students to a particular town as planned. When they reach the town, a student called Paarvathi, her pet name Paaru, comes and tells Lucy, "I’m from a high caste family and these villagers are shoemakers, from a law class of the society. I can’t go to these dogs." Paaru said.
Lucy gets a shock at her response. Lucy then sees a dog on the road, and she makes the dog move in the air towards Paaru. Seeing the dog coming towards her in the air, Paaru becomes scared, and nobody else can see the dog. She is in a panic and tells Lilly about what she is seeing. The dog remains in the air before Paaru.
"Paaru, God has created all human beings equal, and He doesn’t make any distinction. It is we human beings who create classes, castes and distinctions. We, the new generation, have to break all oppressive systems and bring freedom to all human beings. Paaru, if someone calls you ’a dog,’ do you like it?" Lucy challenged Paaru lovingly.
"No," Paaru answered negatively.
"We have come to this village, so they can feel our love and concern for them as God’s children. They can come up in life and lead a life with dignity as we do." Lucy conveyed the transforming message to Paaru.
"Oh, Lucy, you are great. I’m a blind ass and self-centred. I feel very sorry for my destructive attitude. Forgive me." Paaru is apologetic.
As Paaru changes her attitude, Lucy makes the dog go back to its place, so she feels at ease. Months have gone by; many changes have taken place in her life. Many more other students are following this novel way of life, going out of themselves to others. They have worked for the growth of society rather than withdrawing into their own egocentric life. More and more students discover their hidden talents as they break their barriers and use them for the common good. Many students have even influenced their parents to be other-oriented and get into charitable works for the poor people. Some parents involved in such activities themselves have discovered the joy and inner satisfaction in them. This contentment has become a motivating force for many people.
Paaru has become very committed to her outreach programs for the upliftment of society and has become the right hand, Lucy. She attempts to learn and understand the growth barriers in society, makes a great effort to transform her unhealthy attitude, and does her studies with responsibility and discipline. She is now excited to do something for others. A method of teaching she has learned from Lucy. Lucy is very alert to bring discipline, responsibility, and hard work to whatever the student community does. With challenging difficulties, she tries her best to inculcate, in the minds of all, the values of sincerity, truthfulness, hard work, respect, and honour for others, both young and old. At the end of the school year, Lucy comes to discover that the general academic performance of the entire school has improved a lot and the extracurricular activities as well. The tangible progress has proved that her inspiration to do what she has been doing has come from God. Lucy has discovered from her prayer life that God’s creative power can easily flow into us through various challenging inspirations. When we do it, our fears and doubts vanish, and we become instruments of the growth of people. Lucy is having a tremendous influence on the students to be other-oriented toward the good of society. Observing her wisdom, prudence, and maturity of her age, the Principal and the staff approve of her and her companions of their creativity and encourage them all to go forward with God’s grace.