Meeting Bo

Jul 27, 2013

An actual artist’s rendering of the event taken from T. Mark Bartley’s imagination. Well done Mark!

I’m still not sure why Bo and I met. I’ve learned to not question God, or at least not to require an explanation. Sometimes answers, or the way we see it, can ruin the beautiful mystery of heaven touching earth. But before I had a chance to meet Bo, my car had to meet his bike.

It was the Sixth Annual Spencer Macleod Three Point Shoot-Out last Friday night, an event sponsored by my church for the last seven years (one year was rained out) and it seemed more glorious than ever. I try to listen to objective feedback from others because I am Spencer’s mom, and like any mom, I am prone to partiality. I like to see everyone having fun, and Spencer Macleod in big letters. He’s been gone a long time now, so it’s a great gift just to see his name.

I love more than anything to watch the way God has taken what is, without question, one of the worst horrors any person can experience, and slowly rebuild, reshape, rework a thing of incredible beauty, a masterpiece, from a pile of dust and rubble.

At one point, a friend from church leaned over and said, “You are the grandmother of all grandmas!’ I wasn’t quite sure what he meant, but I saw him watching all of the little children running around us.

“Look at all of these kids! Most of them are here because of Spencer. That’s amazing!”

When we step back and surrender our lives into God’s hands, it is the most magnificent thing to behold. And as time moves forward, it is even more startling in it’s splendor, because only God can top the very best with more. He doesn’t stop. For me, Spencer’s mom, it takes my breath away. Yes, all this from a basketball tournament.

Many of us lingered well after the event was over. That happens when God Himself shows up. You want to stay and stay close to each other, in the fullness of His joy. Around ten I climbed into my Camry and headed home. I realized as I made my way into Hyannis that I was hungry, I hadn’t eaten all night and I was trying to recall what I had at home to eat as I made a left off of Route 28 onto a familiar short cut to my house. It was then I saw Bo.

My first impression of Bo as my headlights lit up his face was, He’s as surprised as I am, and then one to two seconds later the front of my car collided with his bike, which had an upside down stroller hitched to the back. I saw Bo fly off the bike and hit the pavement, then he started to roll. The bike slid across the ground, and I saw a wheel from the stroller fly through the air. I think I was saying something profound like Oh No! but my heart was pounding as I pulled over, expecting the worst.

I leapt from my car, leaving the door open, the contents of my purse spilled all over the floor from hitting the brakes. By the time I reached Bo, he had jumped to his feet, like a Hollywood stunt man, and he was smiling.

“Oh my God! Are you all right?” The nurse in me immediately started a trauma head to toe assessment, while my hands glided over his exposed arms, his back, feeling for abrasions or deformities.

“I’m OK, I’m OK! He laughed.

I stopped and looked in his eyes. He was Asian, come to find out Chinese and 73 years old.

“Do you realize this is a miracle?” I said to him, his grin becoming contagious. I might’ve repeated this question, as if he was deaf. My adrenalin was through the roof.

“Yes, Yes! “ he answered. “I’d call it that!” Then he tipped his head towards me and pointed to the front of his baseball cap.

Hooked on Jesus, it said, in bold letters beside a huge fishing hook.

This was becoming more bizarre by the minute. Now I’m laughing.

“You’re a Christian? Me too!” We high-fived each other and I called my husband, joyfully telling him I had hit a bike rider with my car, that it was alright, it was actually a miracle, and could he come help fix Bo’s bike?

While we waited I found out Bo’s name, where he was from and where he was going, still feeling his arms and making him walk for me. C.B showed up with his truck , which I thought we would need to cart Bo’s bike away. We found the stroller wheel and within minutes it was fixed. I started feeling the bike the same way I was feeling Bo’s arms, but I know a lot less about bikes than bodies.

“Let me see you ride it,” I said.

He hopped on and did a few circles. Perfect. We had both been spared, likely for different reasons. I didn’t know what else to make of it. We were all standing there in the dark as cars streamed by, some of them slowing down, likely distracted by this odd roadside assembly, and it occurred to me we were lingering, just like at the basketball court. God was there and probably several angels. I invited him out to church. He promised he would buy reflectors tomorrow, then we waved as he took off , quickly disappearing into the night. He was camping he said.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see Bo again. In the range of divine encounters this one was more than memorable. I’ve told the story to several people and I always start out laughing, saying, ”Hey, did I tell you about the bike rider I hit?

Like I said, I don’t know why God does things like this. I’ve been looking for a lesson and sure, there are some things to learn. Trust Him in all things. He does bring all things to good for them that love Him. And… watch out for bike riders. There’s a gazillion of them on the Cape now, all from other countries where people move slower and drivers are not inclined to feats of near-death just to move 10 feet up in a line of bumper-to-bumper traffic.

But this is what I think. Maybe God did that just to remind me that he cares about me everywhere I go. That the full measure of His joy and His keeping grace didn’t end at a three – point shoot out with a crowd of people around and my son’s name in big letters. He is there, in the obscure places, when no one sees, among people that you would never otherwise meet, unless you hit them with your car, although I don’t recommend this method.

I’m sure He had something to say to Bo too. That’s speculation and none of my business. But God is so creative. Maybe He is rebuilding and reworking some broken mess in Bo’s life. And He sent some angels to arrange a meeting. Who knows? But I’m sure glad he’s hooked on Jesus. Jesus will let you run, but He won’t let you go.