About a week and half ago I received a text from a friend asking me if I’d heard that a friend and former ministry co-worker had died. She was hoping that I could confirm what she had heard was not true. I could not; it was true in fact, he had gone home to be with the LORD!
This friend had come into my life several years ago as a customer in our coffee house. He road in on his Harley…this old looking dude with stickers on his helmet indicating he was a fellow believer in Christ. I’ve never been in the biker community too deep, this guy had come out of the outlaw biker community years earlier as I found out as our friendship began to grow.
At the time I met him, I was riding my Goldwing; he said that’s what drew him in, plus the name of our business; Son-Rise Espresso. So into my life comes this scruffy, garden gnome looking man, with kind eyes and a goofy smile.
He’d been living in the area for a while and looking to start a motorcycle ministry. He hadn’t had much response. When he found out I was a small church pastor he decided to come check it out. He’d been attending another church in our area, but was open to the possibilities with us. Plus he wanted to make me part of his new group. I got a vest and patch, I was now part of the biker world, I guess.
We have an annual event in our valley that draws bikers from all over as well as vendors and families. It’s a throw back to the old days of our area and the “history”. It’s really just a huge three day street party that helps boost the economy in the middle of winter; our valley depends on tourism, some businesses more than others. I tend to avoid it, but he wanted to go and mingle with the other Christian Bikers, so we go.
We never really got the ministry off the ground, but in the few year process of him being involved in our church, I learned a lot. I learned to take more time before delegating certain responsibilities. I learned how to see people for people (still working on that one). I learned what a child like faith looked like. I learned how to deal with my frustrations and how to pray better.
We had a disagreement on a ministry issue and he chose to step down from his duties at the church and move on. We still kept in touch and would see each other from time to time, things were odd, but peaceable, after all, we were still brothers in the LORD.
Well on Monday the 6th of May, Richard Payne Moses, known by all as just Moses or Pastor Moses, went home to be with the LORD, sometime in the middle of the night, sitting in his chair in his humble little trailer. Just days before he had helped organize a big ride and BBQ. I haven’t ridden in a while, so I was not there, but I heard he was “on top of the world” with enthusiasm and cheer.
That was his way, he was just a big kid that everyone could love. He had a heart for the outcasts. Mostly because he had been one most of his life. Not from the outlaw days, more because he was afflicted with polio as a kid and could not participate in the “regular” kid stuff. No, the biker life suited him; he was accepted for who he was. Another lesson I learned while knowing him.
This Saturday we will gather and say “Good Bye for now!” There will be a memorial, then a ride around the lake, and a BBQ to cap it off. My bike has been down since last summer so I won’t be riding. His sister has asked me to speak, another friend of mine is officiating and the biker group is organizing things. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to say…
I think I just figured it out.
Ride on Brother Moses, ride on!