I love to get together with other biker buddies and ride on Sunday afternoons in beautiful Northern Michigan. One of our favorite rides is around picturesque Leelanau Peninsula. We would cruise around sharp corners; travel through rich green pine and maple forests; graze at crystal clear northern lakes and enjoy Sleeping Bear Dunes shoreline. I always dress in biker leathers and rode with a tattooed crowd that did not look like choir boys.
We were out on the scenic peninsula with about twenty bikes of all makes and sizes. We cruised to the charming little town of Glenn Arbor to buy ice cream at the little ice cream parlor on the corner. Motor bikes were packed together and we talked and laughed as we goggled down our ice cream treats. It was my son’s sixteenth birthday, so one of my friends rode him on his big old Harley. It was the perfect present for T.J. on a beautiful Sunday summer day in July.
As we sat on our bikes eating our creamy treats, a very conservative looking man walked into the horde of bikers and patted me on the back. Then he boldly proclaimed, “I’m glad you boys have chosen to go to the ice cream parlor instead of the bar.” He was unmercifully laughed out of the high-spirited crowd. He must of thought of us as just a bunch of rude motorcycle riders but he had missed the in-side joke that he had accidentally created. I was glad that they laughed at him instead hitting him with their helmets. The big joke was that he was patting the back of a preacher and congratulating him on not going to the bar. I was not a bar hopping out-law but rather a pastor whose call is to oversee recovery groups.
We need to stop looking at the exterior of each other and judging the character. We have some very holy brothers and sisters in the Lord that happen to be appearance challenged if you view them through the judgmental gaze of a legalist.
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
”But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
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I love this article! My church in Northern VA has a biker's small group called Michael's Marauders. The leader of this group is also on our Prayer team. That group has done so much to open the minds of the members of our church. Thank you for sharing. May the Lord bless you as you continue in His Will.