Every evening, a young man comes home from his day’s events, parks his bike and chains it to the stop sign on the corner across from our Peace Center in New Orleans. Every morning when we are at prayers, we can see that the bike is still there. Nothing too unusual one might say; except that there have been a rash of bicycle thefts in the neighborhood. So, what is so special about this one bike that no one seems to prize it as they do others? Maybe there is some secret protector watching over it?
This is the season of hope. Christmas Day looms on the horizon and we look to the coming New Year’s Day and know that both of these holidays are supposed to help us think more hopefully. Somehow or other, once these days pass, a lot of us get back to the normal pace of life, with sparks of hope here and there.
The bike on the corner is a constant reminder of hope. A daily expectation that the bike will be there when the young man gets ready to use it. A daily moment when, should the bike be gone when he returns all hope vanishes; or should it still remain tethered to the stop sign just as he left it, hope is restored. It is not just a one time deal, a spark in the year that drifts away when the next holiday comes along or whatever.
We know that threats of violence and disaster are all around us these days. When I see that bike every morning there is a spark of hope. It has not been stolen. It is safe once again. Maybe, just maybe, all of us can be hopeful and work harder to bring peace into the places where we are. Where are there even the simplest signs of hope in your life these days? Use them to make a difference for others. Our hope has a Secret Protector, too.