By Lori Brinkey
As part of our sermon series this month, we have been asked to read 42 Seconds by Carl Medearis. In the first section titled Be Kind, he encourages us to say hi to the children, the poor, the disabled, i.e. those that you may not have previously noticed or cared about. He encourages us to be interrupted. Interrupt our daily routine and busy schedules to acknowledge the waiter, greet our neighbors or smile at a stranger as you pass them walking into the grocery store or perhaps a coworker as you walk to the parking lot after work.
On Friday, May 4th, I was able to see St. Luke put these words into action. St. Luke provided the venue for Bike Day 2018 which is a day where Michigan Medicine Pediatric Rehabilitation Therapists, along with PEAC (Program to Educate All Cyclists) and several vendors work together to evaluate kids with special needs in order to find a way for them to ride their own bike, trike or adapted cycle. If they are not able to propel themselves, we investigate options for them to ride along with a family member on their bike. It is a very fun and rewarding day and this year, St. Luke was very gracious to host the event. We had outgrown the space at our Pediatric Rehabilitation Center and also needed a location where we could have access to both safe, outdoor space where kids could try out the trikes/bikes but also, have access to a gym in case of inclement weather. With the nearby parking lot, level entrance to the church (i.e. no steps) and first-floor gym, it turns out St. Luke was a perfect venue. In addition to providing the physical location, Pastor Justin surprised us with providing a pizza lunch for all those who were working the event.
In his book, Carl talks about allowing yourself to be interrupted. He reminds us that Jesus took time while traveling, to stop and heal the socially unacceptable women who touched his robe. Last Friday, the staff at the event interrupted their busy schedules and normal work routine to see these kids along with Pastor Justin and Susie Gay, who flexed their schedules so that they could be there to greet the kids and families and offer assistance as needed to help the day go smoothly.
Unlike Jesus, who had the power to heal the women who touched his robe, we (even us- rehab therapists) cannot heal someone with one simple touch. But, we all have the power to make a difference in someone’s day. We can acknowledge our waiter, open the door for someone or make an effort to get to know our friend’s kids. At Bike Day, we were able to talk to the kids and their families, listen to their goals for bike riding and work with them to figure out a way to make it happen. For some, we were able to provide them with an opportunity to independently propel a bike. For others, it was a way to ride along. For everyone, we are able to give them a chance to participate in the fun of bike riding with their peers and family. Thank you St. Luke for your participation in Bike Day 2018!