What is a "cuddle bus' ? It is the mass transportation vehicle used in East Africa; a 12 or 15 passenger van that has been modified to fit 19 people. The modifications are usually extra flip-up seats placed in the aisle, and the urging to scoot over and fit one more person on the bench. This means 4 to 5 people across. Packages go in the back, on top, or in your lap. Comfortable seat, interior padding and shock-absorbers are optional. Why 'cuddle bus'? Our co-worker Richelle Howard named it this saying, "Because that is what you do!"
On the first leg of our recent journey to East Africa, I knew that we would fly past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, so I was looking in all directions to be sure I didn’t miss her. She was gloriously visible for all to see as we landed in Newark…if you weren’t too busy doing something else to care. We gathered our things, and headed into the terminal looking for a place to camp for 5 hours. But after 15 years of travelling on various airlines, Doug has finally succeeded in gathering enough status to qualify entering that inner sanctum known as the “President’s Club”! On overseas flights, he can even bring a guest. That would be me: right on his coat tails. Undeserving, requiring his good graces, for five whole hours!
We entered a rather nondescript door which looked neither very impressive or like it was gateway to anything very large. I was mistaken. Inside, I must admit that I was rather in awe of the walnut paneled lobby, massive desk, and the halls leading off to a polished rabbit warren of nooks and crannies. Inside were comfortable rooms with beige leather chairs, a buffet of healthy snacks and drinks and showers that one could reserve. There were even waitresses to collect the dirty dishes. For modern traveler—there are always enough electrical outlets. And it is both quiet and secure.
The contrast between travelling with “the masses” like we usually do, and the President’s Club was marked: much like the difference between the wide road and the narrow road mentioned in Scripture. For me, both are places entered only by the grace of another, who was qualified to bring me in. Jesus, through His death and Resurrection qualified to make it possible for me to receive admission to Heaven, if I choose. The world is a busy place, even frantic at times. But the freedom and liberty are announced, and there-- if one cares to look for it. It might be challenging to find the door, since the whole invitation is rather understated. We are told that Jesus, the Door, also didn’t look like much. Evidently the majority of people today agree. But for those choosing to enter the Door, there will be comfort, abundance and security for ever more.
The President’s Club? A terrific way to spend five hours during a journey. Heaven? A terrific way to spend eternity. By the way—I know Someone who can get you in.