The news broke on Friday. A well-loved school bus driver has been arrested and charged with a federal crime involving child pornography. My heart sank when I saw the man’s smiling face in the photo that flashed across my television.
I met Ray when he drove the school bus my kids rode to and from school each day. Everyone loved Ray—especially my kids.
Ray was more than just a bus driver to my kids—he was a friend. Dallas is a friend to one of the man's sons. When Dallas got into trouble, Ray was one of the very few people who told me he believed in my oldest child and he encouraged me to never give up.
Drew was just heartbroken when I shared the news with him, as he was especially close to Ray. My second son often seemed more comfortable around adults than kids his own age and Ray was a grown-up who poured confidence-building encouragement into my son.
Channel 30 showed a clip on last night’s newscast in which the bus driver’s wife assured the public her husband was a good man. She would stand by him. The station put a copy of that clip on their Facebook page. Their followers responded with ugly, judgmental comments.
I won’t defend the crime with which Ray has been charged, for it is indefensible. Nothing the man did, however, negates the good things he contributed to my family.
Tonight I’m praying for Ray and his family. I know God loves them all so much and this situation breaks His heart—as it does mine.