Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Coincidence or Divine Intervention?

Before I get too carried away with my typical rambling nonsense, I ask you to look at the photo at the top of this post. No, not the amazingly beautiful couple in the photo. Look at the banner in the background. It has one of the scriptural texts we chose for our wedding. It's Ecclesiastes 4:12 which says, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

The reason I point out this banner, is because I learned something very interesting about it today. I will tell you a little story about its life and let you decide if you think this story (or rather the circumstances) are a coincidence or Divine intervention.

It started in 2006...
Every story has to have a beginning. This story starts around the time my wife and I were married in July of 2006. We had chosen the passage noted above as one of the readings for our wedding ceremony. My Mom, the queen bee of quilting and all things crafty, made the banner in this photo for our wedding. My wife and I were very grateful for her work and thought it was a beautiful addition to our wedding decor. 

In her typical fashion, my Mom recommended that we leave the banner at the church so it could be used and enjoyed by others as they saw fit. We agreed that it was a great idea. We were married in the Luther Preparatory Chapel in Watertown, WI, where my wife attended high school. (Years earlier that is - I didn't marry a child.) A number of our relatives have also attended and/or worked there over the years as well. We felt it was fitting that a piece from the start of our history together stayed in a place with so much of our family's history.

Fast forward a few years...
My wife's cousin, who is now a pastor, spent his vicar year down in East Texas. For those of you unaware of what a vicar is, it's basically the pastor version of student teaching. He spent the second to last year of his seminary education in East Texas as a vicar at my parents' church. So, not only did they know him from our wedding a few years earlier, they now had the opportunity to get to know him better during his year in Texas. 

And get to know him better they did! I think it's a fair assessment to say my Mom treated him like he was her own son. (I'm totally fine with that because he is a really great guy.) I can't say I was as thrilled over the next couple years when he received more care packages filled with baked goods than all of her "real" children combined did...but I've gotten over that now. 

Move up to June 2016...
My wife's cousin, Matt, married a wonderful young lady named Rachel this past June. It was a joyous occasion, but unfortunately had one person missing...my Mom. Mom passed away in January of 2014, so she was unable to see Matt meet the woman of his dreams and get married. While she was still with us, she dreamed about seeing Matt meet a woman just like Rachel. 

When Matt and Rachel were planning their wedding, my wife mentioned the wedding banner my mom made to Matt and he tried to track it down. He thought it would be easy considering his soon-to-be wife worked at Luther Prep at the time. But alas, it was not to be. Apparently it was moved, lost or given away during a recent remodel of the chapel. 

The "end" of the story....
Today, my wife received a text from her cousin Matt. He has since finished the seminary and is now a pastor in Manhattan, Kansas, at his first parish. Matt was over at his associate pastor's house and someone mentioned the banner in their son's room and brought it out to show Matt. Guess what. It was the banner my Mom made 10 years earlier!

Apparently this fellow pastor sends his kids to Luther Prep in Wisconsin for high school. (It has a dormitory and is filled with kids from all across the globe.) One of his kids got the banner from his religion professor at school and brought it home. It was now hanging in his room at home. 

I'll let you decide if it's just an amazingly huge coincidence or Divine intervention. I just think it's amazing that this banner my Mom made worked it's way from Watertown, WI, to Manhattan, KS, where Matt is now a pastor. Mom would be thrilled to know her banner finally made an appearance somewhere in the vicinity of this wonderful couple she always wanted to see meet. 

Life is an amazing thing filled with interesting twists and turns. They're not always great twists, but sometimes they turn out pretty amazing. Until next time....