coincidences

Nine o’clock on Easter Sunday night saw me wandering down the aisles of WalMart. I had just driven the almost-two-hour drive from my parents’ house after a long afternoon with friends, and was mentally already ticking off the list of things to do before I could fall into bed. I stopped and began to peruse the different boxes of crackers available, and had just settled on which flavor of Triscuits I wanted when “he” came over to me.

“Hi,” he said.

I gave a polite half-smile and nodded.

“Do you need any help?”

“No thanks–I think I’m good.” Do I really look that confused? Well, there are a bunch of choices

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I think I found what I want.” The tomato-basil looks potentially interesting.

“‘Cause I’d hate for you to need help standin’ here and lookin’ all . . .”

Ooooooh. The light dawned, and I smiled for real this time. I thanked him again for the “offer” and assured him I was just fine. He told me where he would be if I needed anything and turned to go. After a few steps, he turned back toward me, and that’s when he said it.

“Keep doing whatever you’re doing.”

Then he was gone, and I didn’t see him again for the rest of the night.

What he said has stayed with me, though. Keep doing what you’re doing. Perhaps not the way he meant it–but the message came through just the same. Just keep going. Don’t quit.

God sends us encouragement and answers to prayer in our everyday lives, but I think a lot of the time we don’t accept them because they don’t come to us with pomp, circumstance and flair that we expect from a “miracle.” In His love for us, God is constantly speaking, tugging at our attention and whispering “come away.” Too often we miss it because we’re looking for something else. Because angels don’t show up shining like neon lights and waving banners trumpeting “thus saith the Lord” in our faces. Because it comes to us through commiserating with a stranger about the price of gas while standing at the pump instead of in the middle of a church service.

I don’t know who came to speak to me on Sunday night, but I do believe God used him to get a message across, and it has served as fuel to press on after God and to continue to believe that He’s got something bigger going on than what my finite mind can see. I pray that God will shift us all to a mind set where we look at “coincidences” and see answers instead.

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