The city bus gives them the space and time. A 20-minute ride to school among strangers, unknown to each other, they are silent with each other for a week. The three are students and are taking the city bus to summer school. They know each other only by sight in class. The young girl waits on the bus as the other two are start to board. The young woman says hello to the first young man. She then asks him to call the other young man over. The second young man suddenly beams with joy at being called over, overcoming his early morning daze. Being called over has more power than morning coffee.
The conversation moves to why the floor of the bus is sparkly. Her question: why their parents ground them. Her comment: she hates to check in with their parents. The first teenager taunts her in a friendly self-protecting way. The three talk about skateboarding and the lack of balance. The conversation moves to typical teenage talk. They sort out the question that floats between the three — friend or foe?
To be called. To belong. To be called over. These are the kernels of friendship. These are the seeds of becoming a group. Jesus called his disciples to join him. That moment of being called out of our morning daze into the gaze of another. When we talk of the source of religion, of political movements and big social movements, the simplest reason, to be called over, seems to be forgotten.