September 1, Day 61 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
Minor Miracle or What?
Sioux City had a strong hold on us, but we finally broke free today after our 15-day stay to rest Debbie’s lower right leg. Perhaps symbolic was one of the more bizarre sights I have ever seen, which occurred just outside the hotel this morning while we were preparing our bicycles for a return to the road. Debbie’s right foot was visited by an unexpected intruder. Check out the videos. The first is from my point-and-shoot camera. It is short, but gives you some close-ups. The second is from the helmet cam and gives you the entire episode without close-ups. My apologies for rotating the camera on the first video. I suppose I’m still new at this stuff!
Was this clingy creature an evil icon depicting its last claim to Debbie’s injured right leg? Or was it symbolic of Sioux City’s grasp on us that refused to let go? Whatever it was, and wherever this creepy sighting came from, kicking it off and leaving it behind to carry on without us mirrored the feeling that came with finally venturing out on the road and leaving Sioux City behind for good.
Our departure, however, was not without questions and concerns about Debbie’s leg. It had improved somewhat during our rest period. Yet, she has not been consistently pain free during our stay, and just last night I was applying thumb pressure on her lower leg, at her direction (because I have no idea how deep-tissue massage works…or if it works for an injury like this). When we went to bed, her leg was still “not right.”
At our stop in Whiting after a tailwind had pushed us 30 miles down a pancake-flat road, she said that she couldn’t believe it. She was feeling absolutely no pain. When I heard the same report at day’s end, it seemed a miracle had happened.
I wonder, sometimes, why we pray–and ask others to pray–if we don’t trust that God can heal us. When the answer to these prayers comes as asked, why are we so surprised? Is it a measure of our underestimating faith, or are we so scientifically wired that we no longer believe in miracles? And why will we try to explain away what has happened in ways that we and others can understand and accept?
When Debbie sees anyone who jumps off a motorcycle lately, the question “Have you ever gone to Sturgis?” often comes out of her mouth. It happened again at our stop in Whiting, Iowa, today. A farmer and his wife rolled up with their twin Harleys and jumped off for a snack break at the market. What ensued was another conversation about hedging and tornados.
I was left speechless when, in response to my “Do you hedge?” question, this man responded, “No! I’m an idiot.” What does one say after a response like that?
Thankfully, he closed the silence gap by describing how his marketing strategies, or lack thereof, cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Intrigued by the challenge, I shared about the hedging book that I’ve written and invited him to read it, and then to feel free to follow up with me with any questions he might have about it or about hedging his crop in general. After I shared about TheHopeLine, he said that he wasn’t likely to follow up on TheHopeLine pitch, but he was very interested in the hedging discussion.
I sure hope I hear from some of these farmers. I see dollars signs all around me in these vast and bountiful fields. But those dollars may soon vanish, blown away by any number of risks that stalk these farmers before they are able to deposit them into the bank.
Yesterday, we averted a wild storm with 80 mph winds merely 10 miles to the southeast. When we rode through today, people were busy cleaning up debris. Several trees were completely uprooted, and large branches were strewn everywhere. Good Samaritans were out in full force, randomly extending kindness in the cleanup effort to strangers who had suffered damage to their properties. It was heartwarming to see.
We ended the day in Onawa, Iowa, after only 43 miles. With the next apparent stopover 42 miles down the road, it seemed prudent to call it a day, and see how our bodies would react to our first day of riding after the break. Regardless, it felt wonderful and liberating to be back on the road.