Written By Chaplain Chris Belfield
You usually hear them before you see them. No, I’m not talking about mosquitos. A low rumble that progressively gets louder can indicate if there is one, a few, or many. A common sound and sight on the North Shore this time of year are bikers. When the term bikers is used, many may have visions created by movies and television of James Dean, Marlon Brando, Hells Angels, or Sons of Anarchy just to name a few. The reality is that the vast majority of riders are ordinary people who enjoy the unique experience that motorcycle riding offers. In a past life, I was one of those. On this particular evening, there was a group of about forty men in women in the motorcycle group. There were not on the road at this time but were enjoying themselves in the lounge and dining area of the American Legion, dressed in the expected motorcycle attire of leather vests and boots with markings to identify their group. What was different about this group was that most were over 50 years old and were all there for the same purpose that unified them in their mission. They were the American Legion Riders group and they were about to kick off the Annual Legacy Scholarship Run around the northern region of Minnesota. The Legacy Scholarship Run was created as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terror, which left many children of active-duty military in single-parent households. The funds raised are to help provide higher education for these children. In 2019, Minnesota raised over $200,000. On this night in our local Post dining area over $15,000 was donated before the run even began. Next time you see a group of riders going up the road, you might be surprised. Another interesting sight was from our front window, which looks out over Lake Superior and the eastern half of Encampment Island. Sometimes I have to do a double-take to make sure I am seeing what I think I am seeing. There, just east of Encampment Island was a large cargo vessel, parked as though waiting for a take-out order to be delivered from a local eatery. The G3 Marquis is registered in Canada and was waiting to pick up pellets in Silver Bay. It waited over eight hours at anchor and in that we observed the ship go a full 180 degrees on its anchorage because of the winds that day. Just as interesting was when it left, it came closer to the shore than I had ever seen a ship come before. Interesting the things you see up here on the North Shore. Also to see here on the shore is the weather. Never a dull moment, is there? Monday brought humidity and a cold front. This equates to fog, and lots of it. Due to the unique landscape of the shoreline, diligence is always required when driving. From Two Harbors to the house is only about 10 miles; probably five or six as the crow flies. The trip however saw intermittent periods of bright sunshine and dense fog. It could be just over the hill, or around the next bend. You just never really know until you get there. This, and Alaska, have been the only areas where the fog can roll in like a cloud at ground level. Did I mention I love living here? Sometimes what we think we see is something else entirely. Other times what we see is a one-of-a-kind experience to be cherished and remembered. And finally, it can be what we don't see that causes us the greatest concern and results in greater levels of caution. All of this is a good reminder that God sees everything. I try to make an effort to see things and people as he does and to reflect on how people see me. I’ll have to see.
Our encouragement verse for this week is: Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV) “Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” May you be blessed by God's word. Chris