The testimonies that have come out of his journey with Christ are amazing and for him to tell, but seeing Erin suited up for a ride with her Dad after a big day washing bikes in Daytona, gave me pause.
I remembered another story of a biker and his daughter.
Years ago when we were at a very large, notorious rally where bikers rode in with sleeping bags and cases of beer on their bikes, threw down a bag and went off to party, one of those riders had a special request.
He had arrived with the shirt on his back, a sleeping bag and enough money for food.
His request: Could he sleep under our coffee canopy during the day (for shade), as he planned to find work with security for the event during the night for funds to get himself to the next rally or event. Very common lifestyle of a biker.
Russ was kind to the young man, but also told him that we were a very busy tent during the day, as we served coffee and ice water, had extra chairs for sitting in the shade and bikers would be coming and going and talking to us. This young man, Terry, said that was fine, and let us know he wasn't interested in our message or the free Bibles we were giving out, just the shade of our canopy.
Four days he slept in the shade and worked the grueling nights of partying and breaking up fights. He seemed to be a pretty sound sleeper through the roar of motorcycle mufflers, and constant party atmosphere. The things that were said under our canopy,
"Would you like a free cup of coffee?"
"No, we don't do this for a donation."
"Free, means free. We don't take money."
"The Bibles are free also."
"No thank you, we have churches that buy our coffee so we can be here to talk to you."
"We used to drink and smoke, party all the time, our marriage was messed up until we gave God control of our lives."
When it was time to pack up camp, Russ left to get our pick-up truck parked on the back 40, and I began putting away odds and ends ready to load the trailer.
Terry walked up to me, and said, "I've been listening to you guys all week talking about God and Jesus, and not taking money, and your story about who you used to be."
I was stunned.
He handed me something. It was a letter to him. He said, "Would you mind reading this and explaining it to me. I just got it in the mail before I came to this event."
I opened the letter and it read, "Dear Daddy, I found Jesus and I hope you do, too..." The letter continued to tell of her life since he left over 10 years before, and her forgiveness and love for him.
He spoke again, just as I was choking back the tears, "I left 10 years ago, and never went back, she was on 7. It was about me and her Mom, not about her. Do you think she wants me in her life after all this."
I handed him the letter and said, "Terry, Daddy, this is your invitation."
He asked for a Bible and our contact information.
As he rode away I turned to clear our ministry table and began to cry. Through the tears I saw a $20.00 bill tucked under the FREE Bibles. Terry of all people knew we didn't accept donations, and wasn't he broke?