One night, my wife saw me flying down the alley on my electric bike as she drove by in the car.
Dressed in all back.
She said I looked like Batman—a shadow in the night.
She knows just the right things to say.
That memory popped in my brain today as I took my bike out for a ride.
So tonight—I’m Batman.
I pull into the apartment complex, but something tells me to take an extra spin around the block.
I turn up the road and see a young man dressed in all black too.
Tight rocker jeans with huge holes and a flowing Guns n Roses shirt.
Who’s this guy?
I try not to be judgmental.
I drive by him on the bike and give a nod.
This is me testing the waters.
Then an instinct comes upon me.
It tells me that I need to talk to this kid.
I’m trying to listen to inklings of the Spirt these days.
I am sure that this is it.
I turn around and drive by him again.
“Hey how’s it going?”
He’s just a kid.
I slow down and I see the dark bags under his eyes.
He looks terrible.
There is a sadness in his voice.
My first thought—drugs.
He’s so young.
Reminds me of myself when I was his age.
I see some lost part of me in those tired eyes.
I keep driving past, but that voice is still there.
Talk to him.
Maybe I should ignore it and go on with my day.
Time to wind down—relax on the couch.
I pull around the building, and we meet at the corner.
I stop, take off my helmet and goggles, and introduce myself.
He’s stranded up here in the north woods.
Needs to get back to the city two hours away.
I gather all the details—ask him where he’s headed and what happened.
I’m sonar-scanning his every word and movement.
He tells me that he got a flat last night.
Can’t get his car until the morning.
But there are holes in the story.
And I’m sharp as a tack when I’m wearing my Batman cape.
I recommend some places to hang out instead of walking around as night falls.
My heart is telling me that I should drive him the two hours.
There is an undeniable voice in me—I need to talk to this kid about Jesus.
Needs to hear something.
I see so much of myself in him.
I want to inject life into his eyes.
Into his heart.
I give him my number and tell him to wait at the burger joint down the road.
I tell him that I will go talk to my wife and see if there are any busses that leave our area any time soon.
But in the back of my mind I already know that I’ll be asking my wife if I can drive the kid back to his house a couple hours away.
He could be serial killer. You have no idea. Guns n Roses? No. You can’t just drive with a stranger.
We agree on giving him some money—for a hotel room, bus ticket, or food.
Hey any word? Was thinking about heading down to Hardee’s…if you want some company I’d love to chat. Burgers on me. SEND
NEW TEXT MESSAGE: Thank you so much! Good news, my mom’s on her way to get me.
Batman time! What do I do, what do I say?
I put my trust in the Holy Spirit that he will move through me and say the right things.
I ride over to Hardee’s and say the Lord’s Prayer over and over.
Lock up my bike.
“Hey buddy, how you doing?”
We order burgers and sit in the booth.
I tell him my story.
He tells me his.
Has no father figure.
I want to jump on the table, spike my ice water, and tell him that he does!
You do! Your loving, glorious, patient, all-knowing, timeless, everlasting Heavenly Father loves you so much. He is your Father figure. Rely on him. Rely on Jesus. Be like Jesus!
I bite my lip, nod my head.
He tells me his family tragedy.
He had it rough growing up.
I want to scoop him up and fly him to safety.
Bring him to the Bat Cave.
Shield him from the broken world.
Life is hard here in Gotham.
This kid—he’s in the midst of it.
He spent the night in jail for drunk driving.
When I found him, he was wandering around town.
Before that he was laying in the dirt.
Wondering what to do.
His car had been impounded.
Has no way home.
I flash back to when I was 17 and got kicked out of prep-school for being an idiot.
Blacked-out on rum and lying about it.
Then losing everything in an instant.
Nothing I could do but cry.
I know, Brother. I know where you are.
But now he’s smiling.
Talking to me and laughing.
See life building in his eyes.
Start talking about sports.
Show him the scars on my hands.
Tell him I used to be a pro hockey player.
A Boston Bruin.
Reach in my backpack and hand him a gift.
The Holy Bible.
There’s a bookmark in there.
A an Upper-Deck card of me wearing the Bruins sweater.
Something told me he needed that Bible.
I see the joy in his eyes growing.
He looks at the card then looks at me and back to the card.
Now I know why God let me play in the NHL for those three games.
Hardee’s has been closed for almost an hour.
We’re sitting outside on the bench and it’s freezing.
He’s shivering—so cold.
Filled with fear and uncertainty.
I give him my jacket to wear.
When his mom pulls up, he takes it off and hands it back.
I look at his mom and she doesn’t look impressed.
Who’s this guy?
I look deep into his eyes.
One eye filled with joy.
The other with concern.
How will mom react to drunk driving, losing the car, and spending the night in jail?
With all the chaos running through his brain, I shake his hand say all I need to say—and I mean it, and believe it, and know it, and live by it, and die by it every day.
“I just want you to know that Jesus loves you so much. He loves you.”
He gets in the car.
They drive away.
I hop back on my electric bike and fly down the empty streets.
The moon and stars ignite the sky.
Something is happening.
The Lord is using me.
I feel so blessed.
Do you know Jesus?
Here is the gift of salvation that He offers you.
Thank you using me today, Lord.
Thy will be done.
Your humble servant,