Damn Christians

17 08 2014

“Hey, Miller,” “What Sid?” I read where one of the “Christian groups protested another soldier’s funeral, holding signs and shouting all kinds of hateful things to anyone whose attention they could get.” Then staring me straight in the face he blurted those two words, “Damn Christians!” Well I sure couldn’t let that go unanswered. “Hey, Sid!” “What?” I was reading cold-weather-ridingthis biography on the Rolling Stones where at one of their concerts they hired the Hell’s Angels to be security and those guys got so crazy they started beating up anyone close to them and even killed one guy.” Now it was my turn, “Damn Bikers!” And with just a few words I described the relationship between me and my buddy Sid, well kind of.

Sid is a tough as nails Harley rider from Toledo, Ohio that I exchanged barbs with whenever we would meet up. He did two tours of duty in Viet Nam during the 60s, says that what made him a biker. “When I got back from all the action in Nam I found life at home too slow for me to cope with, so I bought my first Harley and started chewing up the road!” Chewing up the road was one of his pastimes, the others were getting in more fights than he could remember, drinking beyond limits regularly and paying support to a couple of ex-wives and ex-girlfriends for children he seldom got to see. By the time our paths crossed most of his wild life was behind him, he was living in Holland, Michigan near a son and his grandchildren who were now the focus of his life, and they in turn loved their “Grandpa Patches” (his bike club name). He still rides a lot, only now, in his words, “Riding sober is great, I can clearly see where I’m going and remember the next day where I’ve been!” Of all the different things Sid was now doing one of the proudest activities was his involvement with an organization known as the Patriot Guard, a group of bikers that attend the funerals of fallen soldiers, firemen and police officers to aid in making sure the event is done in total respect. Without a doubt I liked old Sid the moment we met, that was easy to do with his big smile, laughter and sense of humor. The interesting part is the fact that the man liked me, which actually was quite a feat in itself. For you see, I represented a group of people that the big guy didn’t particularly care for–Christians.

As a young person he had attended church, but something happened that soured him and he stopped going. When he first came back from the service, he went to another church with his first wife but that didn’t fair much better. “All that preacher wanted to do was talk down on everything and everybody that didn’t agree with him. If they looked or acted a certain way, they were no good. Well a lot of those people he was condemning were my friends, he had no right to judge them. So I told him if that’s the way it was, he knew what he could do with his Bible and church and I never went back!” “Sid, all can I tell you is that isn’t what the bible says about telling people about Jesus and His love for them, and many Christians aren’t like that, just look at me.” “I know Miller, you’re a weird bird, different from any Christian I’ve ever met, I can’t even make you mad,” then leaning close to me, “You sure you’re a Christian?!!!” I know this old leatherneck was trying to tug at my crawl, but there are a few Christians in the category Sid met that ask me that same question; oh well.

I heard from Sid’s son who told me his daughter had picked up some strange virus and she was now in an induced coma clinging to life in a hospital in Grand Rapids. I assured him we would be praying and asked him how his dad was doing. “He’s tore up as much as we are and spends most of his time at her bedside or walking the halls there at the hospital.” “Let him know we’ll be praying for all you guys and him as well.” A slight pause and then, “He knows that, John, it was his idea to call you.” (How bout that?!!)

My Man C.S. Lewis said this, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

Friends, it is my belief to call yourself a Christian means that you have discovered something so wonderful you have to share it with the entire world no matter what they look or act like. I have found that the vast majority of true believers hold to this position, but unfortunately it only takes a few (people as one friend of mine calls them members of the First Church of the “Chosen Frozen”) to give us all a black eye and cover the true meaning and message of Christ so that others will miss what He offers freely to all who come and believe on His name.

Here’s another Lewis quote that I’ve used often which clearly tells how we should presents ourselves, as Christians, to others: “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Says it all doesn’t it?

To my hard as nails fellow “Traveler of the Rock Road,” thanks for keeping my head on straight, Sid, helping me remember saying I’m a Christian is not just a title, it’s who I am and what I do, for His name sake.
Sid’s grand-daughter made a full recovery, I ran into him in a crowed restaurant and he told me all about it. “That’s great Sid, we never stopped praying for her and for you too you old fart!” Yeah Miller, I know, you’re rotten like that!” A shrug of his shoulders and then, “I don’t know, we’ll see, maybe there’s something to what you’re peddling.”

I turned to leave and got almost to the door when I heard this booming voice from across the restaurant that brought the entire room to silence, “Damn Christian!” I turned to see Sid sitting at his table smiling at me over his cup of coffee. Only one thing left to say,

“Damn Biker!!” Dang, do I love this man!!!!

See ya next week.


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