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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Hero of My Broken Chains

father grinning while playfully riding his daughter
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As a young tomboy you could always find me perched on my bike, peddling hard and fast down the neighborhood sidewalks. There I was, free as a bird with my ponytail swinging, and a deck of cards strategically clipped to my spinning spokes, which made the neatest flapping sound.

Looking back on those carefree years, I would have to say I was a pretty happy-go-lucky kid ... until the worst possible disaster that could befall a 10-year-old came upon me. Up to this point, my world consisted of two wheels, a seat, and a pair of handlebars. 

The chain link on my bike broke loose, rendering me peddle-less!  Nothing could launch me into a tailspin faster than to find myself unwillingly de-commissioned from riding my beloved bike. 

Now you have to understand who we’re talking about here. This is the girl who preferred riding her bike over taking a bath. I made it my daily ambition to hit every standing mud puddle, and hop every winding curb along North Madison Avenue. 

This is the girl who absolutely loved racing down hills, with legs outstretched sideways, peddles spinning wildly, while her heart raced as she dared to let go of the handlebars once the road leveled out.

The pink handle grip tassels were whirling madly around her wrists, as she sang at the top of her lungs, uninhibited by any passersby or any little creatures that might have the terrible misfortune of being on the same flight path as her mouth.

No doubt about it, my world was my bike! And, whenever it broke, I was one pitiful sight to behold. There I would sit on the front steps, cupping my chin with one hand, and holding my broken chain with the other. Minutes turned into hours as the sky would soften to that pinkish-purple glow as evening made its approach.

I would eagerly watch for my only hope of rescue, that of a blue and white Chevrolet Sedan to cruise up the driveway. At long last, I would hear the sound of the engine as it slowly rounded the bend of our gravel driveway. The car door would creak open, and out stepped my hero… my dad.

He looked at me and shook his head with a familiar smile. We both knew the routine so well. Without a word spoken, he would bend down, loosen his tie, tell me to get him his toolbox and begin to busy himself with serious chain repair.

I can remember how his starched white shirt cuffs would become marked with grease, and how he never once complained. I recall how the smell of his after-shave always brought me a comforting sense of reassurance.

Yep, we made a pretty good pit crew, Pop and I, even if it only happened to be the two of us. Well, three (if you count Rebel, our boxer dog, who loved to lay close by and supervise with a curious stare). He always managed to give my dad an approving lick on the back of his neck!

I think back on those summer evenings with great fondness in my heart. Before my Dad even got a chance to sit down and read his paper or enjoy his evening meal, he always made sure I was up and running on the two wheels of my existence.

He saw to it that all was right in my little world of cycling and that this busy tomboy could go on about her business, doing what she did best … looking for standing mud puddles to splash and long winding curbs to hop.

I often think about my hero, and how God has blessed me with such a wonderful earthly Father. Maybe we need to hug our Daddy’s a little more often, and let them know just how very special they really are! 

Happy Father’s Day Pop!

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