Last Sunday we had “The River on The River,” at which our church had an outdoor worship in a pavilion at Azalea Park in Roswell. It’s a gorgeous spot, and it was a beautiful day, and when we arrived to set up the parking lot was already full. There were, however, boat trailer parking spots available. Six of us parked in three of those, two cars per spot, and we began worship.
I was in the middle of the prayers, eyes closed and focusing, when my six year old son wrapped his arms around me.”You’re going to get a ticket!” he said. Jolted out of my prayer, I was at first annoyed, but then what he had said started to sink in. Wasn’t he supposed to be with Brittany having Children’s Church? I wondered where Brittany was. Then I saw her, standing just outside the pavilion.
“You need to more your car so you don’t get a ticket,” she told me. I looked over, and sure enough two Roswell police officers were standing by our cars. I thanked her, and my son, and gave her my keys. Everyone who had to move a car did so while I resumed the prayers. Later Brittany told me that the police had intended to give only a verbal warning, but when they saw none of us coming to speak with them, they assumed that the cars either weren’t ours or that we didn’t care. The police had no idea we were praying. When Brittany saw them writing the tickets, she explained that we had been in prayer, and they agreed to let us move them.
This was much better than the last time we met the Roswell police, which was three or four years ago. On that day, we were working with a local group to help fix the exterior of the home of a blind man who had been taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors. There was a miscommunication, though, and the blind man didn’t know we were coming, and the crew leader didn’t think to knock on his door and tell him we had arrived. So when the owner heard people banging on the outside of his house, he got out his gun, called the police, and told them that he was getting ready to shoot. The police quickly arrived, calmed the man down, and told us what had almost happened. We left, and we haven’t worked with that group since.
I don’t know why this stuff keeps happening, and why it only happens in Roswell, but those are two stories I’m going to remember for a long time.