Our kids got a gift last Christmas.
A significant gift.
Eric's was a new bike.
A cool, silver, Magna Invader bicycle with 4 pegs.
He couldn't wait to give the neighborhood boys a ride.
As the weather has gotten warmer Eric's been cruising all over town.
To the store.
To the library.
That's where he took off to last Friday.
Then the phone rang.
My son, crying, called home to ask to be picked up from the library. My husband knew instinctively the bike had been stolen. While I looked up the information for the police report I was sure we'd have to fill out, I informed the rest of the Tribe what had happened.
"Hey guys" I said, "Eric's bike just got stolen from the library and he is feeling really sad. Let's say a quick prayer for him."
"Why?" Belly asked.
"Well" I explained "the bible says that if something has been stolen from you it has to be returned (Lev 6:3) and also when we are feeling blue God promised that he would send his Holy Spirit to comfort us (Jn 16).
Anybody want to pray?"
Abby's hand shot up.
We turned off the t.v. and for a mere 30 seconds we all paused and said a prayer for Eric.
When Eric and Aaron arrived home, both were devastated. Eric had been crying and went straight to his room. Aaron, sick about it as well, reviewed the events with me at the kitchen table. We both knew we wouldn't be able to replace it anytime soon.
With a heavy heart I later went up to Eric's room to see if he'd like to join us for dinner. He didn't. He was literally heartbroke. I gave him all my encouraging words and told him that we can still have hope that it will be found. After all I explained, we had prayed about it.
He struggled to lift his head off the pillow, "Oh, Dad and I prayed, too!" he said.
I ruffled his hair and left the room, shutting the door behind me, my heart in a million pieces.
It's not a big thing, really, getting your bike stolen, it's a bit of a rite of passage isn't it? But tell that to my heart. It was broken for my little boy who was learning a huge life lesson.
The next morning I took the dog for a quick walk around the block. There, two blocks down from our own house, sat a bike identical to the one swiped from Eric. I frantically called Aaron on the phone asking him to help me remember any identifying marks on our bike. While the stickers had been peeled off proving the make and brand, Eric's chain guard had broke off and this bike, laying carelessly in the yard, also had a missing guard.
Do I just take the bike?
Do I wait for Eric?
Should I call the police?
Instead I took a deep breath and knocked on the door. When I explained to the woman that my son had 'lost' his bike last night she interrupted and said, "Well I wondered who's silver bike that was!" After a short exchange she and her son agreed they had no idea how it had appeared in their yard and invited me to take it.
I took it home.
Wheeled it into the house and placed it in the foyer - almost exactly like we had done seven months ago on a snowy Christmas morning. When Eric came home from baseball practice, he barrelled in the house like boys do, but stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the bike.
I was a hero.
My heart swelled with happiness and tears fell from Eric's eyes.
The whole family celebrated with Eric as we had all felt his grief just the night before. And while we've all learned a lesson about taking better care of our property it wasn't the most important lesson learned. All of our faith has been stirred up through this incident.
But it's just a bike... a silly prayer... it doesn't matter...
Apparently it does.
Prayer matters and God cares.
He even cares about bicycles.
Ask my son.