Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I used to have a negative view of people who rode Harley’s. Of course, that’s changed since I am a “participant” in the Harley phase of my husband’s life. Being an insider on a subculture certainly provides a different point of view.

I always considered motorcyclists as “Hell’s Angels” types. I stereotyped them all into one big group. When my husband first wanted the bike I was appalled at what people would think. Wait! I am in ministry. I do not want people thinking I am like “them.” Here’s how our conversation went.

“Why in the world would you want to be associated with people like that?” I asked.

“Sweetie, they're just regular people. Most bikers are dentists, lawyers, insurance agents and doctors. Lots of the guys at church have bikes,” he said with a tolerant smile.

“Oh, and Indian chiefs?” I shot back as I recalled my favorite jump rope rhyme.

“Sweetie . . .”

“Yeah, well, I’ll just tell you now not one of my gynecologists ever looked like a biker!”

So now I guess I would be considered a biker. My perspective has changed, but it’s true that people still prejudge hog riders by appearance. Here’s my story as being perceived as a riffraff biker babe.

It was a sunny Saturday. My husband and I were riding around Southern Utah enjoying the spectacular scenery. It was warming up, so we decided to stop at a local market. We took off our helmets but went inside in our full biker attire. (It’s not pretty, by the way.) As we strolled through the store looking for a snack and a cold Pepsi, people glanced at us and frowned. Disapproval hovered around us like a rain cloud.

We grabbed our stuff and headed to the checkout counter. A hand-painted sign read, “We no longer accept checks.” Unfortunately for us, the person in front of us wanted to pay by check. The cashier said politely to the customer, “I am sorry, but we just can’t accept checks any more. It’s the result of all the riffraff that now comes through town.” Then she looked directly at us and nodded her head in our direction—with a very knowing look.

“Uh? Wait! I am in ministry. I love Jesus. I would never stiff you with a bad check—really!” I didn’t say it—but I wish I had. We paid cash and scurried ourselves out the door and down the road.

Jesus told us not to judge others in Matthew 7:1. Now I certainly understand why, because our judgment is skewed. It is hogwash.

I pray I learn this lesson. I want the Lord to wash me clean of my judgmental attitudes, just like Mark washes the mud off of his Harley motorcycle.

But I must say I hope I never have a gynecologist that is a biker—that would still be too weird for me. Is that judgment? Hmmm. . . most likely.

1 comment:

margaret said...

A really cute series, Susanne. Is there more coming? It sounds like you've been riding more lately! Have fun!