Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ride for Hailey

I was taking a Sunday nap today.  Covers up to my ears, pillows surrounding me, music playing softly in the background.  I was on my way to dreamland when I was awakened by the sound of growling engines.  At first I lay in bed, wondering what on earth was happening.  Was a giant plane flying too low?  Was someone in my neighborhood having some strange car rally?  And then I remembered a sign I saw yesterday when I was out driving on Scenic, right by the American Legion.  The sign was about a bike ride for Hailey.

Springfield has been in the news for various reasons, both good and bad, recently, and the bad reason of course is the kidnaping and murder of 10-year-old Hailey Owens this past week.  The atrocities humans perpetrate against each other is appalling and upsetting.  Why a person would do such a thing shows us that evil is actively walking among us.  There will be (and already has been) a lot of speculation about his motives or the whys and wherefores of police action or any number of other hard-to-answer questions.... I am not able nor qualified to speak on any of those topics; I don't know the man or his background or his mindset, and I am not 'in the know' about police standard operating procedures except for what I see on TV shows.

What I do know is that we have the choice to choose good over evil.  There has been an outpouring of love for the Owens family from all over this town (and from all over, from what I've seen on the news and the internet).  Porch lights have been turned on, purple and pink suddenly became the colors for everyone to wear, thousands more than expected showed up at a vigil to celebrate a life snuffed out too early.  And today, a drove or horde or hoon of motorcyclists wrapped purple or pink ribbons around their leathers and handlebars to show their support and raise money to help the family.

Back to the interruption of my nap.  Now, I live on the east side of Springfield, and my backyard is Hwy 65.  I hear highway noise all the time, and I usually don't really notice it because it's become the "white background noise" of my home.  It's a constant sound.  But the growling of thousands of motorcycles is no "white noise."  In fact, I almost felt as if my house vibrated with the sound.  As I realized what I was hearing, I felt I had to go to the window to, like the father in the Christmas poem, "see what was the matter."  What, to my wondering eyes...big grin, the matter was was motorcycles.  No miniature sleigh and reindeer...nope.  Big, beautiful, shiny, loud machines roaring with life and sound and fury.  It was amazing.  And the drivers of the cars seemed to know what was going on, too, for they slowed down, rolled their windows down, and waved (and not the one-fingered salute, either, that sometimes drivers--not me--give to motorcyclists as they roar past).  They honked, too, causing a cacophony of sound that somehow became beautiful and moving.

Here is a link to a news story about the Ride for Hailey.

So, in the wake of a horrible tragedy, we find that people come together to show love and hope and support.  And, despite the disruption to my nap, I felt peace and rest knowing that where evil abounds, grace and love abound much more (Romans 5:20).

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