“THE ENCOUNTER III” > The story is written as if fictional, but it is not, I’m living this every day.
After enjoying his latte, Don left the Starbucks and walked over to the War Monument he had been staring at through the Starbucks window. Walking up the steps he found another nice spot and spent some time in prayer. The life-blood of a priest of Christ is prayer. Many Christian endeavors have been things other than what God wanted because of a lack of prayer. Prayer opens supernatural portals, and unless a priest is faithful to such a prayer life, these portals never open.
His spiritual walk-about was not over. He still had the canal area, IUPUI campus, and the hospital areas to walk through. It had been dark for a while when he finally left the Circle to head in those directions. He walked and walked, pausing here and there to listen. Listen to what? He could not say. His soul was listening, and many times the soul does not share what it hears, and what it knows, till later.
When he finally stopped walking he was at a bus stop near to the VA Hospital. There was a half tall cement wall to sit on while he waited. He was even closer to the Eskenazi Hospital, and he watched a helicopter with blades turning while it sat upon the hospital roof. When it took off it flew right over him.
His study of the IndyGo bus route had shown this route to run until at least 11:00 p. as he recalled. He hoped he remembered that right. The Internet information also said the bus would come through approximately every 20 minutes, but after 30 minutes of setting there watching car headlights fly by, and no sign of a bus, he began to worry.
He had reached this spot at 10 pm. and now it was 10:30. “I wonder if I looked at that schedule wrong?” he began questioning. He could not be sure, and the longer he sat there, the more he doubted. His emergency plan was to have his wife rescue him when she got off work from her Cracker Barrel waitressing job, and it was time, so reluctantly reaching for his phone, he hit the speed dial.
“Hello? How’s your adventure going? You still alive?” His wife asked.
“Ha! Yes, I am, but I may need you to pick me up.”
“Are you lost?” she asked while laughing.
“No. I’m at a bus stop, but it’s been forty minutes now and they are supposed to come through every twenty. I think I looked at the schedule wrong. Some of the routes end at ten. I may be stranded. Anyway, if you head for the VA Hospital I can meet you there.”
“Okay, dear, I guess I can come to your rescue. Your first trip on the IndyGo and you miss the bus and end up stranded. Sounds like another story I can tell the kids. They won’t be surprised though.”
“Ha ha, very funny. I’m gonna start walking. See you soon. Bye dear. Love you.”
Rising from his cement perch Don begins walking towards the VA he can see just up the road. He is about three minutes into his hike when he hears something behind him. The bus!
“Well if that don’t beat all. I sit there for 45 minutes with no sign of a bus, but I no more than walk 3 minutes away and look what shows up, but no way to catch it now.” Don could not catch it for two reasons. One, if the bus does not see anyone at the stop, it just keeps rolling, and this driver was already passing the stop even as he turned and saw it. The other reason was, after his back surgery, it was all he could do to muster a slow trot! His lower spine was still so stiff it did not allow for running, which was very depressing to a guy that had run a marathon at the age of forty-eight! Depressing as it was, this was the new reality and all he could do was stand there frustrated as the bus he waited forty-five minutes for made the left hand turn to do the horse-shoe up through the hospitals.
“Wait a minute! The horse-shoe! That’s right! The bus will come out up ahead of me! Maybe I can run and find a bus stop before it comes through!” The race was on! Feeling like an old warhorse, Don started “trying” to run. All he could manage was a trot, but he was pushing it hard as he could. He was giving it his very best trot, but would it be enough, and where was a bus stop?
In no time at all he was breathing as hard as a locomotive and his lungs were screaming to stop. He could see it now, “Man Dies of Heart attack while Running for Bus!” Then he saw something up ahead. Was it a bus stop, or simply a structure built by the hospital to protect against bad weather? He did not know, but he was determined he would run at least to that spot, even if he collapsed upon arrival! If it was not a bus stop, then he was done. That spot up ahead was as much effort as he could give, more than he should actually, but try he would!
Fortune smiled and when he arrived with lungs heaving and heart slamming, he discovered a bus stop. The bus arrived and he jumped on. When he looked up he found “standing room only!” He was shocked! He grabbed the bar and held on for dear life as he fumbled for his phone to call his wife. The bus roared away hitting him with G-forces one more time, but he was on a bus!
“Never mind, dear. I caught a bus. I’ll see you when I get home.”
Due to some confusion about the routing, his challenge still was not over and he ended up walking a quarter-mile to get to his truck. It was after midnight when he finally got home to tell his wife the war story. His first IndyGo adventure was over.