I’m feeling pretty lazy today. It’s all I can do to sit in front of the computer and write. So far the day has been grey and chilly. The fog rolled in around 9:30 a.m. and hasn’t completely lifted yet. We ate breakfast and took a walk around town, but all I really wanted to do was go back to sleep. I know I needed the day off, but I’m not sure what to do with myself. Part of me wants to just pack it up and go home, but the other part wants to see it through. I can’t stop now.
I was thinking the other day how ironic it is that I’m riding a bike across Mexico for Don Gerardo and others like him. Don Gerardo, as most of you know, was a 70-year-old amputee whose family had pretty much abandoned him. He had been a womanizer and a bad father by his own admission and a typical macho Mexican. He was the kind to sit down at the table and expect whatever woman hanging about to wait on him hand and foot. I wonder what he would think of a woman riding a bike across Mexico in his name. He might have a hard time processing the idea, but it’s a moot point because Don Gerardo died for lack of attention.
My friend Gaby took him into her home for a while to live with her family until social services sent him to live with members of his family. They didn’t care much about him and he ended up alone again living in squalor. Not long after that he was left at the hospital, where Gaby and her group of youth from the church found him again. He died there with no one from his family at his bedside, just one young Christian who had befriended him.
Most people wouldn’t blame his family for not caring for him. He himself said he was a bad father. He was reaping what he had sown in his life. It was only just.
Gaby and her group believe in justice, but they also believe in mercy and grace. In fact, all of us who profess Christ as our savior have understood that God, in sending Christ to die for us, has shown us mercy because Jesus took the punishment we deserved for our sins, and grace, because He restored our lost relationship with Him through Jesus’ work even when when we didn’t care who He was or what He deserves from us.
We don’t deserve anything except God’s wrath and we get His unmerited favor. It tends to change your attitude toward the Don Gerardo’s in the world. That’s why Hablando Menos, Amando Mas is building a Home for Abandoned Seniors. It’s part of who they are to show mercy and grace to anybody whether they “deserve” it or not. That’s why I’m riding my bicycle across Mexico for someone who probably wouldn’t have understood or approved of the effort. If by getting the attention and selling miles I can raise all or part of the $325,000 (half of the construction cost) needed to start building the 26-bed home, then I will have done my part for now.
I don’t ride my bike to raise money for this cause trying to earn God’s favor. I ride because I already have His favor. What a wonderful life to get to do stuff like this.