Love in Action
I’m so grateful that I was in the “wrong” place at the right time.
Our van was sick and was scheduled to go to the mechanics the following day.
So rather than attend my regular church, I opted for one that was a mile or so from home – just in case I had to walk back.
That’s how I ended up at the Salvation Army Worship and Service Center in Coos Bay, ten days before Christmas.
Toward the end of the service a thunderous rumble from outside, reverberated through the church.
Lieutenant Kevin commented, “The bikers are early,” and he continued with the closing prayer. Upon concluding, he instructed everyone to reconvene in the gymnasium next door.
“What on earth is going on?” I wondered. Surely more than the usual after-service coffee.
As I stepped into the dazzling brilliance of a gorgeous day, I wasn’t prepared for the sight that greeted me.
The parking lot, which held about twenty cars when I entered the church, was filled with dozens and dozens of motorcycles of every make, size and color (predominantly Harleys) and a sea of weathered bikers, many sporting Santa hats.
Continuing to enter the lot was a convoy of toy laden pick-up trucks..
An old-fashioned fire bucket brigade quickly formed from the lot, up the walkway, stairs. through the doorway and across the length of the gym, to an old-fashioned decorated Christmas tree.
I found myself in line as the first of the trucks was backed up and unloaded. Stacks of games, boxed dolls, dump trucks and garbage bags of goodies were passed along, hand-to-hand from the trucks to the tree.
Then came a procession of shiny bicycles; pink, blue, red, black, white. Little ones with training wheels to big multi-speed ones. And then . . . more toys!
After about fifteen minutes I left my place in line to grab some pictures.
My unplanned attendance at the Salvation Army Center that pre-Christmas Sunday morning had coincided with the delivery of the results of the South Coast Bykes for Tykes annual toy drive, supported by Biker’s for Christ, and what I witnessed in the next hour, touched me to the core.
I had started out my day just going to church.
Instead, I received a precious gift of witnessing first hand, love in action.