The Least of These

For those whose memory is better than mine, this subject will be a repeat.  Why am I rehashing this subject?  Because it’s struck me again out of things that are going on in the world, and it’s important.

Greyhound is closing inner-city bus stations.  What?  This is devotional material?  I submit that it is.  


For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’    Matthew 25:35-40, NIV


“The least of these,” are those in society that, because of financial means, “don’t matter.”  So where does a Greyhound station fit into this?  The segment of society of least means depends on bus travel when they need to go somewhere.  So what happens now to one of the “least of these” that has a four hour layover that starts at midnight in, let’s say, Cincinnati?  Previously that person would have been able to stay inside in a building that was open all night, but now will be let out on the curb somewhere in a less than safe part of a large city.  That seems irresponsible on the part of Greyhound.  There’s more to the story.  In a country where minimum wage for “the least of these,” has not increased for fifteen years, hedge fund operators are buying the real estate that the stations occupy and whatever the disposition of the property, make it unfeasible for the station to stay.

Are a few bus stations around the country really that important?  Yes, because they serve as yet another “canary in the coal mine,” warning of the perils of the widening economic divide.  We need to be cognizant of the plight of “the least of these,” striving for empathy.  Sympathy states, “gee, that’s too bad this is happening to you; next…”  But empathy puts us in the shoes of the person.  Dr. Brené Brown is credited with the quote, “Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable one.”

As we navigate this unbalanced society, we need to work to see that the people who matter, understand that those who don’t matter, matter.



Heavenly Parent, guide us to empathy.  Empower us to work from empathy to effect real and true help for “the least of these,” recognizing that they are equivalent to any other in your eyes.  Amen.

Bob Bullard