(By Michele Dellapenta - In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen)

8-8-2014 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #790

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
(By Michele Dellapenta - In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen)

Ronnie is disabled and lives in an efficiency apartment on the other side of town. I used to take care of him when I was a nursing assistant, and we remained good friends even after I left the field.

One evening last week I visited Ronnie. As I got ready to leave, we noticed his precious tabby cat Butterscotch, always the center of attention, was nowhere to be found. We called and searched for him to no avail. Ronnie asked me to check the back screen door to see if perhaps Butterscotch had slipped out unnoticed. As I looked out the door, the yellow-and-white striped Butterscotch ran across the yard and through the alley. I hollered back at Ronnie that Butterscotch did get out and I was going after him.

I did the fastest walk I could manage on two bad knees in pursuit of Butterscotch. Each time I called him he would stop, turn and look at me as if to make sure I was following him. And just as I got close enough to nab him, he would take off, running a few more yards ahead of me.

By the time I got across the large parking lot, I was praying, "Dear God, I know you are so busy, but if you could just please stop Butterscotch I would really appreciate it! Besides, my knees are killing me!" As we both neared the end of the parking lot, I saw the fence separating me from the dark brush and busy roadway. This would mean the end of my pursuit.

"Butterscotch, please, just stop!" I hollered one more time. He turned around, looked me right in the eye, then vanished over the fence. I was out of breath and knew that Ronnie would be devastated! He had raised Butterscotch from a kitten. I couldn't delay letting him know. I called Ronnie. "Ronnie," I breathed into my cell phone, "has Butterscotch ever run away like this before?" I was mustering up the courage to tell him his beloved Butterscotch was gone.

"You know, as soon as you left, I called one more time for Butterscotch, and he came right up behind me. He never left the apartment," Ronnie replied. "I have been looking for my eye glasses so I could see to dial the phone to let you know."

"Oh, thank God!" I exhaled and took a huge sigh of relief. "Okay, I'll be back at your place in a couple of minutes." I stopped for a second to wipe my tearing eyes and offer a brief but sincere prayer of thanks to God for sparing Butterscotch.

One thing I have always tried to do when things like this happen is determine what God's purpose might be. You know, you run late for work in the morning because you can't find your keys only to discover that you missed being in an accident by a few cars. That's how I try to deal with the negatives in life. All I knew was that I was hurting all over from semi-running to catch a cat that wasn't even the right cat. And, I had a long walk ahead of me back to Ronnie's apartment.

Halfway back, a voice called out from the darkness. "Miss! Miss! Can you help me Miss! Miss! Please, help!" From the shadows, a figure of a huddled man appeared seemingly out of nowhere. As I got closer, he continued his plea. "Miss! Miss! Please help!" I made my way quickly over to the man and put my arm on his shoulder. He immediately turned his head away and vomited.

"Sir," I said, "what's the problem?"

He turned back to me, sweating and his breathing labored. "I think I'm having a heart attack. I got some bad chest pains, I can't stop throwing up. I can't get anyone to answer their door. I don't have a phone. Can you help me?"

I immediately called 911, gave our location, and relayed his symptoms, pulse and respirations to the operator. I stayed with the man until help arrived, trying to keep him alert, calm and breathing. The man, whose name I later learned was Gerard, was having a heart attack right in front of me! The ambulance arrived in a few minutes and rushed Gerard to the hospital. According to the first responder, who thanked me for assisting, I probably helped save Gerard's life.

I have always firmly believed that things happen for a reason. I may not always know immediately what God's plan is, but if I pay attention and let Him take the lead, He will show me. So the next time you lose your keys when you are running late, pause for a second before letting the frustration consume you. It could be God's way of slowing you down or delaying you so you avoid an accident. Or, like me, what seems like an inconvenience actually puts you somewhere you are needed to make a difference in someone else's life. When you allow God to take the lead and trust that He has a plan, that's when true miracles can happen.

As I made my way back to Ronnie's apartment, the reality began to set in. I actually helped save a man's life! It was surreal. I paused for a moment at the screen door. Lo and behold, the "real" Butterscotch was there to greet me, his outstretched paws gently plucking at the weave of the screen in eager anticipation.

"Ronnie," I said, overwhelmed by the chain of events, and scooping up Butterscotch for a warm hug, "you are not going to believe what just happened."

In Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

Pastor's Quote of the Week
Everything that occurs in your life is part of God's plan to wake you up.

(From: ~Leonard Jacobson)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Thank You for Caring so much!

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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