Bicycle Theology: Where's Your Helmet?

Even though in recent months I've traded my bicycle wheels for hiking boots, one of my closest friends embarked on the adventure of riding. She took her time finding not only a bicycle but all of the "accessories" to accompany it, including a helmet. When we would talk, she'd mention how much she enjoyed riding, but that was the extent of details -- until this week.

"I fell off my bike."

After reassuring me that she was fine with just some bruises and cuts, the story turned to what happened in the hour immediately following her crash. She had landed with force on her head and face and commented that if she had not been wearing a helmet, she would have been seriously injured. Traveling on public transportation to see the doctor, broken bicycle at her side and cracked helmet in her lap, she saw a young man board the train with his own bicycle. He had no helmet. Whether her motivation was the adrenaline rush of the crash, an overflowing gratitude for her intact head, or a genuine concern for her fellow cyclist, she walked up to this stranger and said, "Where's your helmet?"

He replied with the obvious: "I don't have one."

She held up her bleeding arm and said to him, "Do you want for your head to look like this? Get a helmet!"

Stunned, the guy nodded and said, "Yes ma'am."

Certain experiences in life infuse us with boldness. When we or someone we care about becomes sick or injured, we want to warn others about the dangers that led to the pain. If I had been on that train, I probably would not even have paid attention to his lack of a helmet, much less approached him about it. But my friend had witnessed firsthand the importance of a bicycle helmet, and she was empowered by that experience to help someone else.

In the book of Acts, we encounter Peter and the other disciples preaching the story of Jesus with such boldness that thousands of people convert and join the young, early Church. What in their speech caused such transformation? Perhaps their boldness came from a place where their past experiences met a genuine concern for others. The disciples had seen firsthand the power of Jesus, and they wanted for everyone to experience that power. God uses our experiences to cultivate boldness in us. The Church is called to speak without reservation so that all might be saved. Let us ever be watchful for opportunities to share the power in our "eternal helmet" in Christ Jesus. And let us do so without reserve.

grace, peace, love, and biking mercies to each of you,
Pastor Darian