Over the last couple of weeks I have enjoyed a few divine coincidences. These are not the Bob Ross type “happy accidents” – as he used to say – but unforeseen happenings with a deeper meaning. By the way, that was not intended to be a derogatory statement about Mr. Ross. Actually, I have always enjoyed watching him paint his happy scenes on public television.
I am sure that you can identify similar happenings in your life. You were engaged in something and were completely redirected either in mind or body. After reflecting on the event at hand, you realized that there was a deeper purpose afoot. In my life, I attribute some of these events to God’s intervention. He wanted to get my attention or lead me in a certain way. Now, about those divine coincidences.
The first incident started when I was heading to the local WalMart to meet my son. He was picking up a new pair of glasses and wanted my opinion about their look and design. Just as I was parking my car, I received a phone call and did not recognize the number. I answered anyway and heard an older gentleman’s voice on the line. He realized that he must have dialed the wrong number because my voice was not the one he expected to hear. We exchanged a few cordial comments and were about to hang up when I said something like… “that’s ok sir, my name is Randy Nicholas” and he said “I’m Jimmy Cooper.” The name seemed familiar to me and I listed as he told me that he just returned from visiting his wife who is in a medical rehab center, recovering from some sort of injury or illness. He then asked me if I was in Camden, TN. I said “no sir, I’m in Jackson.” During this part of the conversation, we both realized that this was no coincidence. We figured out that we knew each other from the past when we both traveled and sang Southern Gospel music. I sang with the Kindred Spirits and he was with a family group called the Singing C’s. I’ll call him Jimmy and I remember him as a kind, sincere preacher / singer. We shared a few more minutes and then he became emotional and told me that he had lost his sister and a son within the last few months. Now, his wife was struggling in medical rehab. I tried to encourage him a little and we decided to attempt to meet and have coffee sometime when one or the other was near the other. I told him that I would be praying for him and I have. So, a 22 minute “wrong number” phone call from an old acquaintance represents my first divine coincidence. A brother in need of encouragement was directed directly to me.
The second event to note happened when I went to a funeral service on Sunday to meet an old friend and honor the passing of his mom. This is a family from the old neighborhood, the place where I was raised as a child. Due to a misunderstanding about the time of the service, I arrived about an hour early, even before the family. I was just about to go to my car and leave to run an errand, when the wife of my friend walked up. I then saw my childhood friend, Steve, moving toward their car on crutches. He is recovering from a motorcycle accident and is still not well. They were focused on their car, which had a flat back tire. It was a hot day and they were dressed in nice clothes and Steve was not physically ready yet to change the tire, so I said that I would help out. Whew, it was hot and changing that singular tire reminded me that I need to be more concerned about my own health and well-being. So, maybe this was not a huge “bell ringing” God moment, but I do believe that He placed me there at that moment to be a blessing to my friends and in return, God did show me that I need to take better care of myself and start exercising regularly.
How many times in the life of a believer do we experience those random events that seem to be directed from above? How many times do we attempt to write them off as nothing significant at all? Maybe we should all be more attentive to the small events that occur in our daily activities and learn from them. Amen?