Pastor Tia’s devotion for October 8, 2020:
Dear carefree Saints!
The night after my birthday my bike was stolen from our garage. When we were just about to leave to the beach on that extremely hot morning, the garage door stood wide open. My husband ran back in and yelled: “Tia, your bike is gone.” My heart dropped and I felt sick to my stomach. I know, it’s just a bike. But I loved that bike.
My husband had gotten it for me right when we moved to the U.S. It was a beautiful, red (my favorite color) city-bike and for a long time it was my only way to get around other than walking (which I really don’t enjoy other than hiking, but that’s a different story).
I had shuffled my kids back and forth with it all over Berkeley when we didn’t have a car until March 2020. When we had visited friends late at night, I had put one kid on the seat and one on the rack and walked the bike home. I had taken it on Bart first to San Francisco and then to Fremont. It was my bike. And while I am writing this, I feel like this is the perfect way to mourn my loss. Yes, it is just a bike, I know, but I loved it.
So, I walked out to the garage to see it with my own eyes. Sometimes, that’s the only way to believe something, even though I am a pastor and believing things I often can’t see should be my specialty. And yes, the garage looked empty. My bike was gone. I took a deep breath and looked again, took another deep breath, and walked back in.
I felt like doing something would help. Even if it didn’t bring back my bike. So, I posted on Nextdoor, hoping that somebody might see my bike. I filed a police report. And I posted on Facebook. To get some compassion from friends and hoping that the more people know the more likely somebody might spot it. After all, it’s red!
Then, I calmed down. I knew that there was nothing else I could do now and that things would work out. Somehow. We went to the beach and swam and enjoyed life.
Suddenly, my husband asked: “Do you remember if Nicole has taken her bike home last night?” We had enjoyed a nice dinner with our bubble family and had had some whiskey, so my friend had decided to leave her bike in our garage overnight. Hoping that she did not we tried to reach her, and finally learned in the afternoon, that Yes, she had left it and Yes, it was gone as well.
Shortly before I went to bed that night, I checked Facebook (a bad habit, I know). Lots of people had commented on my post, some had shared it. And 2 friends from Berkeley had offered to lend me their bike. And 2 members of our congregation had offered to give me their bike since they weren’t using them anymore. I felt overwhelmed. I felt taken care of. I felt loved. And I thanked God for the wonderful people in my life who will not let 1 bad apple spoil everything.
A couple of days later I borrowed the big Ford from friends to pick up 2 bikes. And to visit with people I am honored to pastor.
Matthew 6:25-27 became true to me.“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”
Wishing you a carefree day, Pastor Tia!
P.S. If you would like me to visit you, you don’t have to offer me a bike from now on! Don’t worry. Just let me know and I am happy to sit with you in a backyard or front yard or whatever feels safe for you!