Riding my sister on the back of a banana seat bike
When I never had to lock it
My bike that was stolen
It is one o’clock, exactly the minute I leave work for lunch. And I love my lunch breaks; I bike to a nearby park, overlooking the canal and eat yogurt with the sun warming my face and a breeze to cool my skin. I drink iced coffee chilled in a water bottle, read a novel, and write stories, my ideal break from work stress. I get to enjoy the happy sounds of the outdoors—seagulls chatting and children laughing in the playground. But not today.
Today I round the corner of the nursing home where I work and see nothing where my bike should be, nothing where I parked it and locked it at ten o’clock this morning. Nothing but my chain lock, snipped in two places. I open my mouth in disbelief as if I could scream. Screaming would be useless. The thief is long gone. He biked away or threw it in a car. Gone. In broad daylight.
Now would not be the time to remind me that I have a lot to be thankful for and things could be worse, or maybe there is a reason for this happening…or pray for my enemies. I know, and I’ll read the Bible verses to steer my mind toward these thoughts when I’m ready, but for now I’m disappointed. And angry. And frustrated. My bike was only three months old. It was my third fold-up bike. I have bought the same bike three times. The first got rusty after Hurricane Sandy; the second bike was stolen when my son borrowed it and chained it right near the police station. He thought it would be safer there than at the train station. Guess not.
Over the years my kids and I have had at least ten bikes stolen and a couple of bike seats. I’d like to find one of the thieves and hear their story. How did they become so indifferent? Do they ever consider the consequences of their actions or how they affect others by stealing? I’m sure they’d laugh in my face and ask me for my phone.
It took about a day of reading the latest news to get over it. Yes, I’m still frustrated that I’ll have to buy another bike, but if this is my worst problem, I’m having a better life than many people around the world. First the shooting tragedy in Orlando; then two teens died this week—one during a football practice, and one from Toxic Shock Syndrome. I can’t imagine how horrific the grief all the friends and family are suffering.
In this life, we can’t hold onto things…they break, they get lost or stolen; they die. Only faith, hope and love remain if we focus on eternity. Now I’m ready to say this… he can steal my bike, but he can’t steal my joy, faith, hope, or love. The thief has nothing. I need to pray for him. I knew God could twist my thoughts around. He says in his word: “For the Son of Man came to seek what is lost.” Luke 19:10. I don’t think God meant stolen bikes. It’s the thief He cares about who is truly lost.