Saturday, November 28, 2009

A strange thing happened the other day. I was on the 123 bus, headed home, getting off at the next stop. I stood a couple of feet back from the driver, behind the line, facing a row of seats, waiting to get off, when the woman across from me leaned over, touched my hand that gripped the pole, and said, "Dear....Would you say a prayer for me?" I said, "Sure!" As soon as I said that, we passed a church, and everyone around me crossed themselves.

It was a truly surreal moment. The poor woman probably chose the only atheist on the bus to say a prayer for her. But I did it just the same.


  1. You are much kinder than me. I would have given the "I don't talk to crazy" look. It's not very Christian but being an atheist (WOO!) I'm very rarely pushing the Christian agenda of "be nice to people". It's not making me many friends but I'm sticking by my principles! ;)

  2. I think I was too surprised to decline -- when she said "Excuse me," I thought she was going to ask me to help her with her bag or ask me for directions! And not only that but it was a quiet bus and there were a LOAD of old ladies in the vicinity. I guess that even though praying isn't my thing, offending little old ladies seemed like a worse alternative!

  3. I used to pass a harley biker janitor dude in blue jean overalls as I walked to school on monday/wednesday/friday. we clearly had the same schedule. he always crossed himself when he saw me coming which I was about to take personally after the 3rd time. then I realized we passed each other in front of the catholic church and he was supersitious... or perhaps I should say "pious." I guess that would be the non-blasphemous way to say it. But the first time he did it I was like.... "Do I look evil today or something?"

    January 8, 2010 8:57 PM