I was new to the country, new to the language, new to public transportation. I had to catch the public bus in San Francisco Dos Rios on the East Side of San Jose, Costa Rica, and take a 30 minute bus ride to Hatillo Dos, on the west side of San Jose. I saw many things, which were different from my culture…including chickens riding with their owners on the bus.
I was a nervous wreck about the whole public bus situation.
What if I get on the wrong bus? I had that experience in another foreign country, and I did not want to go through that again.
What if I got off at the wrong stop?
How do you even say “Bus Stop” in Spanish?
With the bus being so crowded, what if I can’t get to the front of the bus in time to get off, if indeed, I guess the correct stop?
So many fears surfaced as I waited for the bus to arrive. The first few days were spent dreading the ride to work.
But that all changed in an instant when I saw it…the cross.
There was a cross on the roof of the church, where I taught English.
The positioning of the building, and the height of the steeple made the cross stand out above all the other buildings packed closely together.
I found that the cross could be seen, even when I was still far away.
I found that once I saw the cross, I only needed to keep my eyes focused on it, then I would not miss my stop.
Even when I learned the secret of the cross, I could still travel on the wrong road, if I got distracted and did not keep my eyes on it.
That cross became a great comfort to me…I no longer dreaded the journey. I began to feel confident riding the bus, even experiencing the culture, all because of the cross.
I still felt like a foreigner. I loved the country, loved the experience of living among those beautiful people, but I still did not totally “fit in”. But I had found contentment with where I was, and I had found the way to overcome my fears, so that I could really enjoy and savor what little time I had in Costa Rica.
One day, I was riding along, looking for the cross, and when I saw it, I felt a wave of relief.
“Yes, there it is! I am going in the right direction!” I thought to myself. And with those thoughts came the next: This reality in the physical sense was also reality in the spiritual sense. The longing that I felt when I was looking for the cross was so like the longing that I felt when I was looking for the carrier of the true cross.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.