By: Dennis Reynolds, BFC National Elder
In 1997, it was my privilege to ride with a group to Washington DC for the largest gathering of Christian men in the history of the United States. The “Stand in the Gap” Promise Keepers Rally was held on the National Mall that year, and my friends and I were part of thousands of motorcyclists who converged on the nation’s capital.
My brother “Big Dave” was with me.
Now, Dave is a heavy guy who probably weighed 350 pounds. I have told him for years that he looks, talks, and acts like a cross between Jackie Gleason and Fred Flintstone. Also, Dave is from Connecticut, so he has a thick northern accent. I love to hear him say, “Hey Bruddah.”
RFK stadium was our designated parking area, and when our kickstands hit the pavement, we still had a three mile walk to get to the rally. When we finally made it to the National Mall, because more than a million men were in attendance, we found there was no place to sit. We were all weary, and Big Dave looked especially uncomfortable as we continued our trek.
The National Mall is a two and a half mile stretch of grass and memorials between the U.S. Capital and the Lincoln Memorial.
Finally, as we neared the Lincoln Memorial, we found a place no one else wanted to sit!
The six of us sat down on the ground and leaned back against four of the two hundred plus portable toilets Promise Keepers had provided for the rally. Now keep in mind, these toilets were in use all day by a million or so of our closest friends, so they were nearly full. Also, it was extremely hot, so the toilets smelled pretty bad by the time we were seated.
We didn't care about the smell! After riding for two days, walking three miles to the rally, another two miles looking for a place to sit, we were beat! Big Dave plopped down next to me and in a matter of minutes he was napping… and snoring! A big burly biker guy sleeping against a smelly portable toilet; only in America!
Pastor Tony Evans was the final speaker of the day and when he finished, we stood up to make the trek back to the motorcycles. That was when we ran into a problem.
I was prepared for a LONG hike back to our bikes, but Big Dave announced in that Jackie Gleason voice of his, “No way am I walking! We’re gettin’ a cab!”
I asked what was wrong and he refused to tell me. He just made a beeline for the nearest cab stand.
We didn’t have a lot of money, and a DC cab was expensive, but Big Dave was adamant, “I ain’t walking, I’ll pay whatever!”
I continued asking him what was wrong, and he just kept walking. So, here is this 350-pound man who is attempting to ignore me while he is heading for the cab stand. He must have gotten tired of my questions, so he finally stopped and turned to me.
"Ya wanna know? Ok, I'm fat!!"
Well, that wasn't news to me... Again, I asked what was wrong.
“I need some powder!”
I asked, “Brother, what are you talking about?”
“I’m a big guy!” he replied. I been walkin’ and sweatin’ all day and I’m chaffed!”
Sweating and walking in black denim jeans all day had rubbed the skin raw between his legs.
Then without warning, Dave broke into a jog.
“Why are you running Dave?” I asked.
"There’s only one cab left,” Dave answered, “and those old ladies on the walkers are trying to beat me to it!"
Sure enough, there was only one cab remaining and there were a couple of older ladies looking at it like they wanted it too! He just could not allow that! I was hoping that he was not going to tackle them or shove them out of the way because he was a man on a mission.
Dave succeeded in making it to the cab first, and he dove into the front seat. He slapped a fifty in the driver’s hand and leaned back panting and moaning like a man in pain. The rest of our small group piled in as well and we rode to the stadium where we climbed back onto our motorcycles.
Looking over at my friend, I asked, “Where are we going Dave?”
He screamed back at me as he was strapping his helmet on, “Wal-Mart! Keep up if you can, I’m going to get me some powder!”
We rode like the wind looking for the first Wal-Mart we could find. Then, when we saw the sign, Big Dave hit the 35mph beltway exit doing every bit of 70mph! He threw that Goldwing around like a minibike and came to a halt in the first parking space he could find!
Then, without a word, he just sat there. Finally, I asked him why he wasn't moving...
"I can't! It hurts too bad. Someone, please go to the store for me. And get the biggest container you can find!!"
Since Dave was too sore to move, our friend Mike walked into the Walmart for him and came out with what resembled a gallon jug of Johnson's baby powder!
Then I asked, “Where you gonna put it on Dave? Are we going to the hotel?"
Keep in mind we were all standing in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Dave said, “right here Bruddah, I can’t take it another minute.”
We all gathered around Dave, held up our sleeping bags and blankets, so this tough looking 350-pound biker could powder himself. As we stood around Dave, we could see big puffs of white powder resembling something on fire rising over us, and we all busted out laughing!
From inside the blankets also came the sounds of sweet relief, "Awwwww! Thank you, sweet Jesus!!!"
When Dave finished powdering himself, he hopped back on his bike and a big puff of white powder came up from his black jeans. Then we looked over at where he had been standing.
On the pavement we saw two perfect black footprints surrounded by the white powder. We could tell exactly where he had been standing.
Being able to tell where people stand is sometimes difficult.
Can people always tell where we stand as Christians? Without knowing us, can people tell where we stand just by our actions? What do our actions tell people about our character? Are we walking the walk? Do people see Jesus when they look at us?
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Now I want to call your attention to two things mentioned in that verse.
First, we who are Christians are supposed to reflect Jesus. In other words, when people see us, they should be able to see Jesus in us, in both what we say, and what we do.
Second, with each passing day we ought to become more like Jesus. People should see the change in our words and actions.
Today, is it obvious to people you are a servant of God, or would people be surprised if you announced it to the world? If Jesus looked like you and took your place at work or in your home for a week, would people notice a difference?
No matter where you go or what you do, people are watching. Make sure your actions reflect the Savior you represent. Remember, your actions speak much louder than your words!
Prayer: "Dear God, please give us the ability to reflect your goodness to others, remind us that we are your representatives, and give us strength to carry your love and words to others. Amen!"