MENU

Take your Bible to work day

Take your Bible to work day

Atualizado: Segunda-feira, 1 Novembro de 2010 as 1:57

There is a murmur of approval from the rest of the passengers on the 9am B bus through Cheltenham. They all love Graham Ledger, the driver taking them to the doctor’s surgery, the shops, to visit friends.

"He’s lovely. He’s absolutely charming. He’s so friendly," says 55-year-old Nicola Smith, a regular on the B bus. Asked if she’s noticed the Bible next to Graham’s ticket dispenser, she says "I have never noticed that, but that’s nice. That doesn’t bother me. Quite the opposite."

The whole bus concurs. The fact that Graham has his Bible on display is a good thing. Hindu couple Sundar and Rajeevi Shetty agree, ‘It’s nice that he does that.’

Graham is a larger-than-life bus driver who greets all of his passengers, many by name and waves at everyone he knows as he drives round his half-hour route. But what marks him out is the presence of two Bibles. He keeps one next to his ticket dispenser, and uses the second, smaller one as a wallet for customers’ money. "The Bible is everything, isn’t it?’ he says. ‘I didn’t bring it to work with a specific design. I brought it to read. Then people started to comment on it. I said it was a great book to read."

During ten-minute breaks between drives, Graham reads his Bible, starting with Psalm 23 every day. Then he prays about what he’s read during his route.

He began doing this when he joined Stagecoach nearly four years ago, finding that he simply didn’t have enough time at home to read his Bible. Reading in driving breaks worked better.

And his bosses are happy to allow him to do this. Dave Rosaman, Quality Inspector for Stagecoach West says, "As long as he does his job, then we are quite happy with it. It’s very important that a driver creates a good impression for the company. Graham gives a good impression, being polite to everybody and helping them."

Graham is clear that he’s not preaching to his passengers. The Bible is to help him through the day. "I’d be diminished without it," he says. "I’m not evangelising overtly, but it does lead to conversations. You never know what may come of it. I’m just accepting Jesus’ offer to allow him to shine through me as he does through everybody."

No-one has ever reacted negatively to his Bible, he says, in fact he’s sure that the majority of people don’t notice it, nestled alongside the ticket dispenser. But he knows that people do notice his friendliness.

"One old lady came up to me in town and put her hand on my arm," he recalls. ‘She looked up at me and said, “I just wanted to see that lovely smile.” You don’t know how alone that woman is. Therefore, I believe I should let Jesus shine through me." And it’s working. Graham’s passengers have lots to say about how wonderful he is.

'He always smiles,' they say. 'He always waits until you sit down before driving off.’ ‘He helps you carry your bags.’ ‘Oh and do you remember the time when a young woman got on the bus with a buggy and a toddler?’ says one. Everyone remembers this. Graham got out of the bus and carried the toddler while the young mother got on board.

"I’ve often thought about this driver," says 66-year-old Mary Sealey, who is travelling to the shops. "There have been occasions when I have felt like ringing the office and saying what a pleasure it is to have someone like this on the bus route.

"He’s always smiling and so pleasant, you feel like an individual. He’s so helpful, a lovely man."

Graham simply smiles at their accolades. "It’s a ministry," he says. "My day is really great. I’ve never been happier. I wouldn’t swap this life for anything.

"It’s not the driving," he says, "it’s the opportunity to serve, to be alongside people."

And with that, the bus draws up outside Marks and Spencer’s and Jean, Mary and Graham’s other loyal passengers disembark, waving goodbye   Christian Today

veja também