Over the weekend, I bought a bicycle. I've never owned a bicycle that I didn't acquire after someone else outgrew it or it was discovered a the used bike shop. This is a big deal for me. It's one of those strange moments that I spend a lot of money on sports equipment and feel more like a Mainer (which I will never really be).
I went on a long, long bike ride on Sunday through the neighborhoods I serve. If I actually knew where everyone lived in our 800 member church, I could have waved -- but I still don't know where most people live. I just enjoyed the sights and the grind of my muscles trying to remember how to move again. I felt like a grandmother on a bicycle.
My father used to quip about grandmother's bicycles. He had an uncanny ability to find them for everyone in the family. We never needed it -- but he was pleased as punch that he got it for us. It was around then that he taught us this term -- the grandmother's bicycle. And shortly after, we corrected him and these bad gifts no longer appeared. There was something kinda loving about them. My father has somehow gotten really, really good at gift giving since the days of the grandmother's bicycle. I admit that I miss them.
Yesterday, I greeted one of our more dower grandmothers. She lost her husband only a few weeks ago. He died the same week that my grandfather died. I gave her a huge before worship began and wished her 'Happy Mothers Day.' She embraced me warmly. I don't know what I said then but I remember what she said. She said to me: "We need you here." I was so confused. I didn't know what prompted this comment and I wondered where it came from. It wasn't a grandmother's bicycle. It was just the opposite. And yet, I'm still confused.