Though I knew there was meaning and purpose in what we were about to do, I had no idea how our choice would influence others.
Crowds of people gathered alongside the road of our 100-mile journey yesterday.
People giving us thanks when they were sacrificing their time to be there.
A family with two small children were at every single stop.
Standing there, in the sun, with two. children. Willing to deal with cantankerous attitudes, whining perhaps. How they chose to spend their day was important to them, as parents.
I hope I'll never forget the tone and emphasis on that man's response as we rode by and I told him how much his being there all day mattered. There was passion in his voice. Conviction.
The tears come now as I think of the community around us that knows the impact of an event.
People who know life is precious and each moment is to be savored.
People who know children aren't our own and can be stolen right out from underneath us.
People who know that there are real people suffering with grief over the loss of a loved one.
People who know that 500 bike riders on a 100-mile journey with six stops at schools to spread our message of child safety really do make a difference.
We heard yesterday that our riding gave Hope to families missing a loved one.
Children asked for our autographs.
And I say, really?
What my groom and I did yesterday was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Hands down.
To face a fear head on.
To walk in the shoes of someone else.
To be alongside people who have been violated.
To spend the day in the shadow of ugly and See beauty.
Praise God that the hardest thing I have ever done was a physical activity and not a physical torturous suffering of loss.
Praise God that I felt pain and thought of how much families must ache from the inside much like I do today.
It shouldn't feel good to ride 100-miles while passing silent tributes of deceased abducted children and seeing a father sobbing as we rode by his daughter's wreath.
It shouldn't feel good to hear a sister share a story of her brother's death 20 years ago and how the pangs of sadness still haunt her.
It shouldn't feel good to do something that we know is sacrificial in nature.
Perspective changes everything.
I am overwhelmed at hearing from adult-children who have been recovered from abduction.
I am overwhelmed at the truth that the simple act of raising money for posters actually brings children home.
Maybe the support we were given will lead to recovery for someone someday--perhaps even the child my groom or I rode for.
The people who sacrificed a part of their financial resources to enable us to do what we did, they get it and they are to be honored even more than us as riders.
Doing *some. thing.* changes us.
There's no denying the value of a choice and the power of doing. It's worship in the living.
"Write for five, short, bold beautiful minutes...
Unscripted and unedited...
Without worrying if it's just right or not."
Writing today took a bit longer than five minutes, though the topic is the same. I appreciate the grace to link up with community today.