I was riding out west several years ago on my first solo cross-country ride. I was a long way from North Carolina.
I love it out there. No traffic, I could ride as fast as I wanted and because it was my first time out there, landmarks that were probably boring to locals were fresh and new to me. I stopped frequently along the shoulder to snap a few photos.
It seemed that every time I stopped, a biker would come along, slow down a little and give me a thumbs up. I soon realized that each of these thumbs up was really a question. “Everything okay?” I would respond with a thumbs up, show them my camera and get a nod or a flash of high beams in return as they sped up and passed by. These thumbs up became a source of comfort.
Harley, Yamaha or Honda. With or without a helmet. Shirtless, leather vest or ATGATT – it didn’t matter. We were all in it together. We were brethren.
In a way, that’s what Parker’s House is about.
When I started Parker’s House, several well-meaning mentors cautioned me that I should make church attendance a requirement for any assistance we provided. Or at least make sure they were Christians.
I understood their position, but I felt as if that would be saying that a single mom who didn’t go to church or wasn’t a Christian was somehow less worthy.
The Gospels frequently tell us that Jesus had no concern for social or religious status. He only requested that the person he helped sin no more, or go and do likewise. A 1st century version of paying it forward. It’s a message of acceptance, comfort and hope.
We are told in Matthew 25:40 that when we take a moment to help someone, we are, in fact, helping Jesus.
Parker’s House works with local organizations to find single moms in need – no religion required. Many of our recipients tell us that they plan to help others when their own circumstances improve. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter.
Since my first trip out west, I’ve started giving a thumbs up when passing a stopped biker alongside the road. They usually smile and wave me on. I give them a nod or a high beam flash as I speed on by.
Hey, we’re all in this together.
Further Reading …
This post referenced the story of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25:32-46.