It was a great sermon on patience. The pastor told a funny story, challenged me in my walk with God, gave me much to consider and then closed with a heartwarming story about a homeless man. He gave the invitation to salvation and we bowed our heads to pray. We sang the obligatory hymn for the alter call. I considered deep, meaningful issues — where are we eating lunch?
He walked down the aisle, his leather vest, biker gloves and bandanna-wrapped head made him stand apart from this Sunday morning crowd that is much more comfortable in an SUV than on the back of a bike. As he stood at the front and spoke to our pastor, the tattoo on his bicep caught my attention. I couldn’t make out the words in the three circles, but I wondered about them. What do they mean? Are they a code? A creed? Who is he?
I loved that he was here — in my very traditional Southern Baptist church. We don’t get many bikers… okay, we don’t get any bikers. And edgy is not something we see in these parts. I loved it. This was just what I wanted to see in the church — different people. My heart soared — and then it shattered. As I watched these two men, one young, dressed in leather and the other older in a suit, there heads together almost touching — one slightly graying, the other wrapped in a bandanna, my heart broke.
As much as I talk about wanting to break out of the box, I don’t do anything to reach out to those who are different. I don’t ask people who cross my path about God in their lives. I don’t ask them to come to my church. I don’t ask God to use me to reach others for Him.
I just don’t ask.
Do I not ask because I’m afraid of the answer? Am I afraid that God will use me? Or am I afraid He won’t?
As I looked at those two men, heads bowed together, each with one hand on the other one’s shoulder — one leather biker glove, the other with a single gold wedding ring. So very different, these two men, but joined together before the God who created them both, the God who loves them both and the God who sent His son to die for both.
What an incredible picture and the tattoo? I never did make out the words within the three circles. It doesn’t really matter, because to me, that image represented the three who stood at the front of the church — my pastor, the biker, and my Savior. Two I saw in the flesh and the other I felt in my spirit.