Sunday, October 9, 2011

6. Blessed Additions

Nobody knew where they were coming from or who was responsible, but each week there would be one, two, or three new Bibles sitting on the mop room’s cardboard box desk. They were still in their cellophane wrappers and just itching to be opened up and used. This was a God-send to be sure.

Zeb had already noticed that only one of the kids had his own Bible. It appeared the kids were about all from families that didn’t have Bibles or see the need to have one. But this was a challenge for Zeb of the highest order.

A left over roll of paper towels, the kind of brown ones that are used in wall dispensers, was found and often became the beginnings of wall banners. The banners contained choice phrases the boys and girls were being taught and reviewed each week.

About the first Thursday in April an old blackboard and a new box of chalk appeared in the mop room. The words written clearly in big letters almost brought tears to everyone in the group. It simply said, “We love all you kids and Zeb too!” There must have been a couple dozen initials all surrounding the statement.

One of the girls told the group, “Boy was I wrong. I thought the fire house teams just gave aid to people by saving their lives.” A boy piped up with, “Well maybe that’s exactly what they’re doing by providing us the Bibles and the blackboard.”

Something else that was a bit hard to explain. Each Thursday just after the mop room started, Tom the ambulance driver and Barney the pump specialist would quietly begin polishing Tanker truck #2, which is always parked just outside the mop room door. It was actually possible to polish #2 and still be able to hear all the words spoken in the mop room. The Thursday words of comfort were sorely needed by Tom since his newborn baby was spending time in the nearby hospital. Do you suppose Zeb or any of the boys and girls ever realize how much others depend upon their words of comfort and promise based on scripture?

Last Thursday’s meeting was soon interrupted by the loud clanging of the bell and loud speaker announcing the location and details of the emergency. Next commands said which trucks were to respond. All this was so startling and loud that in the following moments Zeb couldn’t even remember what he had been teaching. He was sure of what his next actions were to be.

When the big garage doors all closed and everything got quiet, he told the mop room group they should all pray for the emergency. They needed to pray for the safety of the emergency teams and that God would help them to give aid soon enough to all the people at the emergency.

The fire was put out with no one injured, but the house and all its contents were destroyed. At the next Thursday meeting Tom stepped into the mop room doorway and gave more details of the fire to the group. Then he asked if the comfort corner group allowed visitors. Everyone gave a hardy “yes!” Tom held up 1 finger, said he’d be back in a minute, and disappeared.”

When Tom returned, he had a girl standing beside him with the saddest look on her face you could imagine. He had an arm around her. Looking at the girl he told the group, “This is Trudy. Her house and all her belongings were all destroyed in the fire last week. Could she sit in your group for a while?”

Without another word one of the girls went right over to Trudy and took her hand with a smile. She told Trudy, “You come sit with me. I like new friends. You can share my Bible.” Before Tom left the mop room his eyes glanced at the old banner over everyone’s head that still proclaimed, “Freedom Fire Department Gives Aid and Comfort.” He turned and left the group thinking that it takes a whole firehouse to give aid. But to give comfort it only takes a caring friend that will share God’s Word.

Now when the mop room gang met the next Thursday there were three grocery bags of clothes with Trudy’s name on them. Can you guess what was on the very top? A brand new Bible with a note saying it is specifically just for her. That firehouse aid and comfort banner was certainly living up to its promise. You’ll agree that God is also.