They rode in grief.
They rode in mutual support.
They rode for Bjorg Lambrecht.
Last week, the Lotto-Soudal cycle team rode in line abreast at the Tour of Poland in memory of their diminutive yet immensely talented comrade killed the day before.
Nicknamed the ‘matchbox’ for his impish character, he crashed off the road in a descent and died of his injuries.
With so many potential successes ahead of him, losing this 22-year-old champion rider was felt not only in the heart of his fellow cyclists but in the whole of his sport worldwide.
Yet it leaves us asking – why?
Those without faith would see it as a senseless act in a cold and random universe. But we of faith can react differently either crassly or offering the merest glimmer of hope in the darkest of days.
For, too easily, we revert to ‘God has a plan’ or worse ‘God never gives us more than we can handle’. The blatant implication being the loss of any young life is his doing. But that is hardly the divinity we see in Christ Jesus.
A less obvious if similar tack, is to talk vaguely about seeing two sides of a tapestry. The one we can see now full of loose ends and tangle knots and the invisible picture of perfection. Once more the godly will seems less than a goodly will.
Perhaps then we need to accept that bad things happen to good people. Tyres, tarmac and concrete do ‘conspire’ to take a young man from us who should have survived to fulfil his promise. That a force for evil exists that takes the best in order for us to think the worst.
So the answer why seems as elusive as ever. It lies as Joseph in the musical of his dreamcoat sings – ‘far from this world’.
Therefore, the purpose of our faith is not to espouse trite replies but to let Bjorg ride on in our memories knowing that he lives on in God. That, for the time being, must suffice.
To read more about Bjorg Lambrecht, click here