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Brenda and the Bible: First Responder 

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By Brenda Groves

The Post Newspaper Features Editor

  Dear Readers: over the past 17 years I have been sharing testimonies with you about the goodness of God. At times I look back over them and am reminded myself of His goodness. Such as the case with this column written several years ago, about when His love rained down and my faith was raised up. I hope it blesses you … 

   
  It was pouring rain that Sunday morning many years ago we my son, who was about  8 years old at the time, and I were suppose to meet my parents for lunch. 

   Since church had just let out the restaurant parking lot was packed, and we could not find a parking spot anywhere. It was not a large area to begin with and to make it worse there was about a four foot drop off of the pavement on all sides. 

    Finally, I saw an opening, but I would have to parallel park my car on the edge of the concrete into a very tight spot. 
  A major accomplishment for me in the best of conditions!!
  Careful. Careful. PLUNK! Hmmm Sherlock, why are we leaning?
  Well, so part of our car is now hovering in mid-air.

   I wonder if the owner’s manual covers this. Quick, see if there’s a reference for, “driver’s error.” Let’s seeeeee, it suggests having the “tires balanced” on a regular basis. Hmmm, I don’t think that is the problem right now. (Lol!) 
    We started praying in earnest for God to intervene and within just a few 
minutes we had our first responders. Two men pulled up and approached the car so 
I got out in the downpour to speak to them. I started to tell them what had 
“obviously” happened and with a genuine smile one of the men stopped me, “Ma’am 

ya’ll just go inside, we’ll take care of the car.” 

    I could tell they genuinely wanted to help.

    I hesitated for a brief moment, but somehow I knew it was okay to 
leave them there.
    Again, he motioned for us to go inside, so my son and I made a run for 
shelter.
    We tried to watch from the window but it was very hard to see what was happening, so 
I can’t tell you how they did it, but in a very short time, they fixed it. One of the men brought me the keys and I thanked him, but that didn’t seem near enough. 

    Now, I don’t know their names, they could have been “ministering angels,” or just kindhearted men, but I do know that God sent them to help us, because He’s a good Father.

  Now fast forward to just a few years ago for this next “first responder story.”    
  It wasn’t that everything had gone right that day, (human peace is only 
experienced through the absence of problems, and I have plenty of those to deal 
with), but that day I was just allowing God to love me. I was focusing in on His goodness 
toward us, and in turn I was grateful at how kindhearted He is. 
  As I left work with this mind set of gratitude I simply told Father God, 
“Thank-you so much for all that you’ve done for me (us), so how can I give back 
to You? I want to minister to You … ” 
  I sat at a traffic light watching a rainstorm pouring buckets of water across 
my hood. The windshield wipers swished back and forth as I looked to my left and 
saw a man on the sidewalk holding a large sign that had an advertisement on it.
    He had no rain gear on, so of course he was drenched, and he looked pretty 
miserable to say the least. He obviously was being paid to tote the sign for the 
passersby. When the light turned green I had the thought of taking him an 
umbrella but that wouldn’t be practical because he needed both hands to hold the 
sign. 
    Suddenly, I looked down in my side door panel and saw a package that 
contained a plastic rain poncho. I don’t even remember where I got it, but it had 
been stuck down there for several years. (Of course, I never thought to use it when I needed 
it. Lol.)
    I yanked out the rain gear and pulling into the parking lot I motioned him 
to come over. I put down the window and water started pouring in, just as he approached he yelled over the noise of a thunder clap, “Oh, my God, please 
tell me that’s what I think it is!!!!”
    I winced. Oh no, he probably thinks I’m handing him a money offering. I 

hadn’t thought of giving that. He’s going to be so disappointed.

   Too late, he stuck his head in the window and grabbed the package out of my hand and started whooping and hollering, “YES!!! THANK-GOD!! THANK-YOU!!! THANK-YOU!!”
    Quickly, he put the sign down and started ripping open the package. Taken 
back by his excited response I rolled up the window and headed out of the 
parking lot. I glanced back in my rear-view mirror and his whole attitude seemed 
to change, he looked happy now to be there. 

    This didn’t want money at that moment, he just needed something to keep him dry. 
    Just then I head the Lord speak to my heart,” … You just did.”
    Still distracted by what I had witnessed I answered, “I just did what?”
    And He quietly replied, “Ministered to Me.”
  I cannot express what my heart felt at that moment!!
  And please understand that I’m not writing about this experience in self 
pride or that some sense of guilt or religious duty prompted me to stop that 
day. 
  It is my intent to give an example of how a loving relationship with God 
through Jesus Christ will cause us to love one another more by accident then we 
could ever do on purpose.
    It is a byproduct of gratitude not servitude. He is always giving but when 
we are receiving God’s kind of love, we will automatically extend it to others. 
It’s not second nature it is a result of a changed nature. The gift of a 
regenerated heart from the First Responder … Jesus.

      
  “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NKJV
  “… it is the goodness of God that leads you to repentance.” Romans 2:4 NKJV

(Heb. 1:13-14 NKJV)

Contact Brenda Groves at: bkgroves1996@yahoo.com

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