By Bob Reilly


Every city around the globe has its own unique rhythm, pace and style. Our city of Laurel is no exception. 

    Laurel is my beat, or if you prefer, my stomping ground. Spread across four counties, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Howard, there exists an amazing array of people, stories and activities. 

    Laurel is my home. 

    I’ve lived here for the past 40 years. Much has happened both in my life and the life of Laurel over these years. 

    For over 50 years, in a parallel course with my 35-year career in Global Supply Chain Logistics, I wrote, recorded and performed live music. I continue to do so, and I’m delighted to add author, writer, creative consultant and small business owner to my resume as well as Rideshare driver.

     In the coming months, I hope to share stories about people and things happening right here in our community that I have garnered while sitting in the driver’s seat.

     Below is one such story about one of our neighbors.

Waiting for Jesus

Spain is a traditionally Catholic country, and historically, the use of the name Jesus is common. Hispanic culture draws on many of the Spanish traditions, including the use of the name Jesus. In Spanish, the name is pronounced Hay-Soos.

    In other cultures and traditions, the use of the name is considered blasphemous. Still, other world religions take no issue with the use of faith names like Krishna or Mohammed. During my last seven years of driving, I have met quite a few people named Mohammed and Krishna. 

    In Christianity, the faithful believe that their Lord, Jesus, will come again to rule through all eternity. It is commonly referred to as The Second Coming.

    I always have a good chuckle when I see the name Jesus pop on the rideshare app.

    Could this be the day?

    Could this be the one?

    Then, of course, the waiting part.

    That morning I pulled up to a house and waited outside for my rider, Jesus, who had just sent me a message that he was running late.

    Another self-chuckle.

    When Jesus finally appeared in front of his townhouse, he was not clothed in flowing white robes.

    No, this 20-something Jesus was in shorts, T-shirt and running shoes. He was also heavily tattooed with depictions of Jesus, the Madonna, Semper Fi and other popping artwork.

    When he got into my car, I turned around, looked at him, and said, “Greetings in the name of Jesus!”

    He said hello and cracked up laughing.

    I thought to myself, this guy seems to have a fun spirit, so let’s roll.

    I told him I didn’t expect Jesus to be so colorfully tattooed when he returned. 

    We both had a good laugh.

    He took time to explain the meaning behind each tattoo art on his body. It was more creatively thoughtful than a random “hey, let’s get tattooed” alcohol-inspired group decision during a night of bar crawling in downtown Baltimore. There were family memories, faith and deep, personal vows to never forget.

    I showed him the less-than-impressive tattoo on the palm of my hand. It is a faint, barely noticeable dark gray mark I received in the fourth grade when another student jabbed me during a sword fight with a #2 pencil.

    The mark of Zorro!

    Another laugh.

    The ride continued and we talked about a few different things along the way before arriving at his stop.

    Big smiles and fist bumps. 

    Gracias, Jesus, and adios!