Written by cycleguy on April 22nd, 2020

Say the phrase and you are sure to get visions of someone driving by and shooting at will or maybe at a specific target. I want to give a new picture and reality to the word “drive-by.” I realize even as I write this or say this there will be those who disagree; will call me reckless; etc.  Save the hate speech. 🙂

Monday afternoon I was riding my bike. During most of my rides I play mind games with myself.  Or is that mindless games? I don’t ride to think; I ride to relax. I ride to gain perspective because you know how exercise frees the mind, especially when you are in pain. I wasn’t in pain in the sense of hurting, but the 14 mph wind out of the SW was killing me.  Not just hurting…killing me. I rode yesterday also. About froze my you-know-what off since I underestimated the 15 mph W wind that lowered the temps into the 40s. I did stop back at the office and put on some more clothes (arm and leg warmers and a jacket) but didn’t have anything to cover my head or ears. My helmet is designed to allow air flow. Trust me…it did flow through! I wondered if I would have any ears when I got back after my 14 mile ride.

Anyway…it hit me hard on Monday how much I miss seeing the people at the church. I am a social creature.  I sent notes to everyone several weeks ago (over 100). I try to text or call. I preach each week via FB. But I miss the personal touch of seeing, laughing and hugging. So while I was riding an idea came to mind. One I began implementing yesterday. Why not do a version of a drive-by? I hit 4 out-of-town homes yesterday (and one I couldn’t find). No I didn’t throw stones. I threw prayers. Actually, I pulled into their driveway and prayed specifically for them. I texted them to see if they were home afterwards and told them what I did and to look outside. Every family, to a “T,” came outside on their porch to say hi. I stood by my truck, maintained a safe distance, and chatted with them.  Got to see some of the little ones who will give me hugs on Sunday (but could only smile and wave). Even some of the adults who will.  Got to fist-bump a couple teenage boys. And the best medicine of all? I got to laugh with all of them. I have a mask but one wasn’t needed…not at the distance I was at (except for the teen boys. I had to fight off their hugs. Yeah, and if you believe that I have some swamp land in Arizona I’d be glad to sell you).

All in all, it was a great afternoon. Gave me the social interaction I needed. Hopefully gave them a sense that they are loved and missed.  I plan to do take a couple hours in the afternoons and do some more drive-bys until this thing is over and we can see each other in person and up close.


11 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oh, Bill, what an amazing thing to do during this time of isolation! Yes, it’s good for everyone involved, even if you can’t physically touch, because there is a real connection there. I hope other pastors will start doing what you are doing.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks Martha. I did get a thank you from the folks I saw yesterday. Made me know I was doing the right thing. And it would be nice to start a pastoral revolution.

  2. Wow, Bill! What a special pastor you are! I’m sure it did more for them than you. Just knowing you care enough to drive by. God bless you and your “flock”.

  3. Crystal says:

    Love it 💖 and, if you are wanting to buy swampland here in AZ – I will sell you my swamp here in the mountains of AZ 🙊🙃

  4. Wonderful idea Bill, I know those folks were encouraged by your prayers in their driveways. We had a zoom call today with a missionary couple. Usually we go to where ever they are , take them out for lunch or order pizza as we meet in their house. So as we were talking with this couple I thought we should have set the meeting for lunch time, ordered them a pizza and us too and ate pizza together on zoom. Out of the box way to encourage. You have just stirred my created juices even more by what you did. Thanks brother. You are a special pastor.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks Betty. Ryan, the youth pastor, is using ZOOM a lot but I’m more of a hands on person. But I’m glad you and Ace are making due with what you have. I do believe God is going to surprise a lot of us with what comes out of this.

  5. Ed says:

    You need to carry some “protective gear” with you when you are biking. Maybe have a backpack. Take care of yourself. We only have one Bill Grandi!

  6. Thank you for what you are doing for your flock. Here our priests/ministers/vicars/pastors contact by e-mails and phone. Going out is strictly controlled and not allowed.

    A question for you to ponder as a cyclist. Why is it when I ride a bike I fall sideways and my legs freeze on the pedals? When I turn the pedals fast I hit a tree or lamp post.

    God bless.

  7. Zee says:

    It’s a good thing that you got to “visit” with the families even in this way. For me, this entire quarantine once again reminded me that I need the physical presence of people around me to stay sane. Kyiv and most of Ukraine has been in the lockdown since March 12, and since both Sam and I had to work (remotely, but still full-time), my mom got the kids so it’s just the two of us at home plus the cat, and it feels WEIRD. And besides that, I miss my daily commute to work in a crowded subway… and my office… and many other things. But the physical touch and PRESENCE are the hardest thing for me. Even if we lead the worship and get together at the church (just the “essentials”), we abstain from hugging just in case and it’s KILLING me 😀

    Oh, to finally get to the glorious day when we’ll be able to hug again.

    Keep on doing the good work, Bill! (and please, take good care of your ears when you ride… mine physically hurt when you mentioned that yours were cold…) 🙂