Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Do-Rag

We went to a motorcycle rally yesterday. These are great places to take Teddy - there are a lot of motorcycles, making lots of noise; there is live music; there are vendors of all sorts of esoteric items (though the bikers might not use that descriptor) and, of course, there is a lot of food.

Interestingly enough, Teddy ended up wanting to buy only two things (other than food and drink!). First, he got some peel-the-backing-off and stick-on purple and gold flames for the side of my truck (so it would look 'bad'). Then, after seeing all the bikers wearing them, he wanted a 'do-rag.' Now, if you don't know what a do-rag is, it is a scarf-like piece of cloth you place on your head and tie it in the back (think about what the pirates in old movies wore and you will have an idea). And, of course, Mom and Dad had to get one as well.

So, there we were: three Midwestern, middle-class folks trying to 'blend in' with the crowd. Without some sort of leather garment, without a rash of tattoos all over our bodies, without a swagger that cannot be taught, we stuck out like three Midwestern, middle-class folks trying to blend in.

Which was okay with the bikers. No one stared, no one laughed, no one pointed at us. It confirmed what we have learned over the years. Despite their tattoos, their apparel, their swagger, bikers (for the most part) are just like us: good, compassionate, caring people. The only difference is the passion they have for motorcycles.

Want to raise money for a family whose house has burned down? The bikers will be there. Know a kid who has cancer and the family can't pay all the medical bills? The bikers will organize a charity ride, and repeat it as often as needed. Want partners in preventing child abuse, rare diseases, lost causes? Call a local biker club. These folks will show up, work their tails off, and ride off into the distance, without needing a lot of pats on the back.

And on most Sunday mornings, dressed in their leather, sporting their tattoos, riding in on their bikes, and walking in with a swagger, you will find a lot of bikers attending Bikers Church, seeking to be as faithful in following Christ as we are, dressed in our Sunday best, sporting our jewelry, riding in our SUVs, and walking in to be with the God who loves us all - each and every one of us.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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