Why would a relatively sane person straddle a hot, air-cooled, V-Twin motor for 10-12 hours a day for fourteen days straight?
Why would he subject himself and his motorcycle to such tortuous conditions? As a rookie rider preparing for his first ride with The Miracle Riders, it all goes back to one little boy that I won’t name out of respect for his privacy.
As a teacher, I meet hundreds of new students every August. This child wasn’t one of the students on my team, but he did come to me for the Guitar Club that I sponsor on our bi-monthly Club Days. A meek, yet personable child, he loved holding and playing the guitars, and I immediately began to look forward to seeing him come in every other Wednesday.
His resource teacher/case worker came in one day to thank me for taking time with him during club days. She explained to me that he had been removed from his family home because his father had intentionally poured hot grease on him. The father had subsequently been sent to prison, and the boy had been placed in one of the group homes in our district. I cringed imagining the pain this sweet kid had been forced to endure.
On the last day before Holiday Break, this little guy showed up in my room to wish me Merry Christmas. I told him to enjoy the break, and he replied, “Mr. Whatley, do you know what I’m looking forward to the most? I’m going to get to see my dad, and I can’t wait!” Boy! It took everything I had to hide my shock, smile back, and wish him the best over the holidays. All this boy wanted for Christmas was to spend a little time with the person that had burned him so horribly. Oh the innocence of children and the power of the human spirit.
I never saw him again after that holiday. He transferred to a group home somewhere across the state closer to his father. Now anytime the other teachers and I discuss boys and girls from the group homes, I find myself reminded of that sweet little kid that taught me a lesson in grace and forgiveness.