Photo and Commentary ©2018 by Maylan Schurch
Sabbath, April 14, 2018

In yesterday’s Daily Photo Parable I told how last Sunday Shelley and I attended Vegfest, an annual gathering of businesses who provide vegetarian and vegan products. Great place for taste-testing.

I took the above photo from the walkway which crosses Mercer Street from the parking garage to the Seattle Center campus. The guy (or gal) in the green jacket is holding Vegfest promo material and is trying to convince the two women to walk up those steps and turn right toward Vegfest’s location, the Exhibition Hall. To the left you see a poster announcing the Seattle Opera’s production of Verdi’s opera Aida, which will happen in the building to the left at the top of those same steps.

But what I’d like you to focus on are the three yellow bikes parked neatly in the foreground. They’re part of a recent experiment hoping to slightly ease Seattle’s transportation problems by providing bikes for people to ride around on.

As I understand it, here’s how this works. You’ve just gotten off the bus, and you’re walking toward a destination some distance away. You see one of these yellow bikes. It has a locking device around the rear wheel. You punch in a code which you evidently got when you registered your credit card with the company. The lock releases, and you get on the bike and ride where you want to go (you’re charged by the hour). When you arrive, you simply park the bike anywhere you want in a visible location, lock it up, and walk away. A computer somewhere removes the amount you’re charged from your credit card. Pretty neat system, and seems to be working well. (There’s a link about this company at the end of this blog.)

Now. Take a look at this second photo.

This the same brand of yellow bike (Ofo is the company’s name), but it’s definitely not parked in downtown Seattle. Instead, I saw it beside Maple Valley Highway in south Renton, a bit over 13 miles from Seattle Center. And I saw it day after day, parked demurely in this same spot.

I hadn’t looked up this bike company’s information yet, so didn’t know about the locking mechanism. What struck me so interesting at the time was that nobody stole that bike. Nobody even bothered it. Because of its bright color I suspected that it belonged to a bike-sharing company, and knew that it must have some kind of GPS tracker.

Now, of course, I know about the lock, and the code, and probably a GPS tracker too. So if anybody snitched that bike, the chances are that its location could still be discovered.

So why show you yellow bike pictures? When I saw that bike on Maple Valley Highway, and saw in the next day and the next day, I decided that for whatever reason, that bike was fairly safe and secure. Whether potential thieves were uncertain about any GPS device, or whether they considered it too much time, effort and risk to take a bolt-cutter to that lock, swoosh the bike away to a garage and spray-paint it another color, that bike must have remained on that sidewalk for a solid week.

And while you and I, it seems, are shuffling daily through what sometimes seems to be a minefield, we too can be safe and secure. Again and again the Bible promises that those who have placed themselves under God’s protection, while not always avoiding pain or sorrow, and walk tranquilly, knowing that their eternity is secure.

Here are a couple of links. The first one takes you to one powerful Bible text promising God’s protection and telling you how to acquire it. The second talks about the yellow bikes.