This morning Trevor told me that I should have spent $400 on rainwear rather than the $275 I have. Just before we left St. Winifred’s the heavens opened and rain continued to fall quite heavily for most of the morning as we walked. I was wet through. The good news was that for the bulk of this afternoon it was sunny and warm, hence I managed to dry out.
Today was something of a banner day in a number of ways apart from the deluge. As we walked towards Fort Gaspareaux, a Ford Escape passed us in the opposite direction. As we took a break at the historic site I noticed that the vehicle had turned around and was heading back towards us. The woman driving stopped next to where we were standing, got out and began speaking to us.
We were able to explain what we were doing and why. I commented on her Ontario license plates and she explained that yesterday she had arrived in the area having moved here for her retirement from Upper Canada. It was a great opportunity to chat. People from the Parish greeted and welcomed her. I prayed for God to bless her in this new chapter of her life.
I fully believe that there is no such thing as a coincidence in the economy of God. We were placed there at that time to meet that lady. I have no idea why it happened, but it did.
I had already been reflecting on this idea earlier in the day. A fragment of time can make all the difference to a life. The smallest incident can change everything. Such events can appear negative or positive, but they are all known to God and weave together in his purpose.
It is easy to accept this when good things happen, but what about the bad? In a recent article, I was reminded of a report about the British satirist Stephen Fry, when asked what he would say to God if he arrived at the gates of heaven. Fry went into a diatribe castigating God for many of the horrors of history. I can understand his point of view, but it shows a lack of insight.
There is something within the human heart and the brokenness of creation which twist God’s intention of love into the horrors some of us experience. Yet what we can know is that God does not turn his face away in these circumstances but suffers with us, bringing hope in despair if we will be open to seeing him.