Monday, August 16, 2010


A WINDOW STICKER. A pleasant one with a pleasant message. Two children, in white vinyl, praying under a white vinyl cross. Peace. Tranquility. Patience. Love: the unquestioned type.  All that Christ-like stuff.

The window sticker was affixed to the aft window of a late model Camry. Tinted. So the image looked white on black.

Pretty damned cut and dried, in my opinion. If existed both good and evil, this represented good.

CALIFORNIA STATE ROUTE 12 is a two lane affair heading west from Interstate 80 toward US 101 below Santa Rosa, through rolling hills and vineyards.  The road adequately bears the traffic that it is asked to. Everyone moves along at the legal limit and only curses blue when a semi, laden with cases of Carneros region wine struggles to make one of the hills.

I keep a safe distance and am generally well aware of how many seconds separate me from the fellow in front and how many seconds separate me from the motorist behind.

Where this lady came from to me is still a puzzle. A mystery. How she got there is not.

The first bit of road that had an inkling of straightness proved to be her opportunity to pass. I braked and pulled dangerously close to a gravelly shoulder as she rocketed by on the curving up-hill grade.  Mrs. Andretti? I presume.

Once the adrenaline cleared and my bearings were restored and I’d thanked BMW for putting anti-lock brakes on this motorcycle, I oriented myself toward this new situation, slowing, as necessary, to again achieve the two-second safety gap.

Ahead of me now, the Toyota’s rear window, was the cherubic window sticker. So pleasant. So docile. Saying so much without any words what so ever. Peace. Love. Brotherhood. All of those things her Lord and Savior might have preached. Yea, verily: did preach.

IN A MOMENT, the road shifted from two lanes to four. Shortly, there stood a stoplight and an option for motorists to head north to Napa or West to Sonoma. The Camry yielded at the light, detained by a vehicle or two in the lane ahead of her.

As she waited, I motored along side and gave the driver a meaningful (or a questioning) glance. Catching her eye, I motioned to her as she glanced at me while I lifted the shield of my helmet.

She lowered her window, although I could see the trepidation in her face, me being on a motorcyle and all.

“Nice window sticker,” I said, blipping my throttle.


I cocked at thumb over my shoulder to the tinted rear window of her Camry. “Nice window sticker!”

She nodded. Smiled. “Oh. Thanks.”

“Say,” I began before the red light turned, “How would Jesus drive?”


“I said, ‘How would Jesus drive?’”

Her face whiplashed from the smile of approval into something less. Something different. Her eyes narrowed and her lips tightened. Her trepidation regarding me was clearly founded. “How the hell should I know?”

The light toggled to green and she was gone.

Onward I continued, quite happy that she was far in front of me.

© 2006
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. David Hughes commented:

    "I used to live in Orange County and every year in Anaheim (At Angels Stadium, appropriately enough), there was a huge tent-meeting style revival thing called 'Harvest Festival'. The local true believers sported Harvest Festival bumper stickers, along with the little praying kid decals and Bush-Cheney bumper stickers, etc. I've always wondered why such conservative Christian folks always drove like the devil? Seems its true up here in North California, too. "

  2. The point of this little true-to-life adventure was that True Believers cannot solely be judged by their bumper-stickers or t-shirts; or even their church attendance. We are judged by how we live our faith through our actions. This happens ...through our words, our decisions in the work and political arena and our interaction not only with loved ones, but with those we only happen to share the road with.

    The first thing I think when someone says to me "I'm a Christian," is "Show me, don't tell me."