Because the physical therapist said that I should ride the bike (I'm sure she meant, a little and cautiously)to see how it would go, I carried the bike out the front door and locked it, stepped on the pedal, swung my leg over the seat and headed out to College Park to "go around the block". The first hill on College Park was relatively easy, the next larger. Turning left onto Rollins you go down a loooong hill picking up speed, and then return up a long hill which makes it much easier (the down hill). And then you have to stop and wait for the light to change because if you don't you will be killed and if you do, you might be killed anyway. I sat behind the cars, also waiting, and rode across Stadium heading west on Rollins, all the Way to Scotts Boulevard.
Now I'll tell you one thing and take it very seriously: Only. Only ride on Scotts Boulevard if you have a death wish, otherwise, turn and go up through Rothwell Heights and when you get onto Scotts stay on the sidewalk for half a block and look...and look..until there is a wide carless space and then peddle like all git-out to cross.
The ride down Christian Fellowship road to the church was easy, with a gentle slope.
I locked up the bike in the front of the church and walked into the cool, dark confines, down a long dark hall to the central entrance, into the bathroom to wash my hands and out again to sit on a bench. Bill T. was standing out front smoking a cigarette. "How long have you been here Ruth?" He said and my reply was not long, but long enough to see you smoking a cigarette. He laughed and we talked about the forty days of prayer. I rode the bike out to the church to pray that evening. We walked into the overflow room where there were tables set up and some bibles on the tables and I questioned him about the prayer meetings. He answered, and as he did so he picked one of the prayer requests up out of the basket, read it briefly and chucked it back in. "For healing.." and then he talked about reaching out to others and other things. "You know what Bill?..(it was a rhetorical question)..I wrote on my card for healing...I didn't know what else to write.".."Thats okay Ruth" and we talked on about the other things as I returned down the long dark hall. "You haven't changed Ruth."..."No Bill, I've changed alot. I'm going to go now, not going to stay for prayer after all."..And he said bye, and the second lobby was silent as I opened the door into the heat and humidity of an early Missouri evening, thinking about some of the things he had talked about. Playing that review tape of my life in my head. Maybe he was right, as much as I had changed and grown and experienced there was still that little thing deep within me that kept repeating, "you're not good enough, you're not good enough", and that is probably right. God loves me anyway.
I slipped the chain from the post and wrapped it around below the bicycle seat and rode back up through the neighborhood, with the sun on my back and the wind in my face, thinking, "I'll go and clean that church bathroom tomorrow, it needs it."...