Do you believe that “things happen for a reason?” That there’s such a thing as “divine intervention?” Whether you do or don’t, perhaps the following story will lead you to think otherwise. If not, then maybe it will at least get you to thinking about people, places, things, or situations involving YOUR life, things that have “happened” that gave you pause, things that made you stop and THINK, “Wow, did that just REALLY happen?!” Before I begin, let me again emphasize something many of you already know, or at least those of you who know me personally or who have read my profile. I’m not one of those that goes around speaking of the bible all the time or attributing EVERYTHING that happens in life to God. As I’ve said many times and those who know me well know this too; I’m an empirical person, meaning I tend to give credence to those things I can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. Still, there’s not a shred of doubt in my mind, not ONE, that the Holy Spirit continues to work its way in and with my life on nearly a daily basis ever since I “awakened” from a fog of despair nearly 3 years ago.
I have a member of my extended family who lives in Kansas. She’s in her late 70’s and was a cousin to my mother. In fact, they were born only a month apart in 1932. I didn’t know her well at all when I was a child growing up in a little town called Tribune, Kansas, and it was only when I reached adulthood many years later that I came to know her better. In fact, as it turns out, her husband was one of my clients at the bank where I worked in Tribune for many years. During this time, I came to know her as a kind, soft-spoken, and gentle soul. And patient! I recall many times when her husband and she would be sitting in my office and he would start re-canting some farmer story from decades past. He’d start going off for the umpteenth time about some humorous event of the past involving one of his farmer friends and she’d sort of sit there with a glazed look on her face, not a “rolling the eyes” look mind you, and just let him go on and on. I’m smiling as I type this. She IS the epitome of a loving and PATIENT woman.
Before I get into the details why I firmly believe that “things happen for a reason” and “divine intervention” was at play when she suddenly reappeared in my life about two years ago, I think it best I tell you a little about her “connection” with my mother and how HER death almost 39 years ago, brings this whole story into focus.
My mother was killed in a horrific and tragic farm vehicle accident in 1972, an event that will be forever etched in my memory. You see, in the little town where I grew up, there were no such things as “ambulances” or even anything close to describing a “paramedic” in those days. Worse, I witnessed the accident and was the first one on the scene. I was 13 years of age. As I said before, this was at a time when I barely knew her cousin, the family member I’ve described in this story, even existed. Here’s the part where it gives ME pause, makes ME think, “Wow, did that just REALLY happen?!”
I mentioned previously in this story her husband was a client of mine at the bank. And it was during those days in the early 90’s that I came to know Ruth better, also affectionately known as “Cuz”. That’s what we call each other these days. And speaking of “cuz”, I remember how difficult it was for me to understand this whole “once-removed” business when one describes a cousin. Ruth FINALLY got me to understand it one day over coffee! Yes, Ruth Lawson, cousin to my mother, is MY first cousin, “once removed!” But I digress, that’s NOT the “pausing” part, the part that makes me believe that “things happen for a reason”, and that there IS such a thing as “divine intervention.”
Not long after my fall from grace, as it were, in the spring of 2008, Ruth came back INTO my life sometime in early 2009. I hadn’t seen or spoken with her for nearly 5 years. By that time, the “fog” had begun slowly lifting after over two decades of despair and an attempt to self-medicate that despair away. Funnily enough, it was Facebook of all things that brought us together once more. It wasn’t long though, that things started “happening.” I started getting all sorts of emails out of the blue from Ruth into my hotmail account, emails involving stories and videos of INSPIRATION. Next thing I knew, without even consciously thinking about it, I began gleaning and forming these emails involving stories of inspiration, into “notes” I created on my personal Facebook page. Some were religious in nature, some were funny, and some even involved videotape. But nearly ALL of them contained a “message” of hope and INSPIRATION. From there, the “notes” took on a life form of their own. People started responding to them almost immediately when I shared them on my Facebook page, telling me how inspiring they were and thanking me profusely.
Looking back over the past two years since that fateful moment Ruth suddenly reappeared in my life, there are literally dozens of her emails floating around in cyberspace on Facebook, in the form of inspirational “notes” or stories that I’ve created and shared, one of which I shared just yesterday, “When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking”, a post that drew a particularly large and enthusiastic response from members of my “Gusto” page, many of whom are scattered all over the United States and across the world, a page that has over 600 members as I write this!
Last summer, I traveled back to Tribune to visit my daughter and son during the annual celebration of the “County Fair.” One of my sisters and I stopped by to see Ruth and I had an opportunity to visit with her privately. Something had dawned on me in months prior to this meeting. I said, “Ruth, do you see the connection, with you, me, and my mom?” She said, “What do you mean?” I went on to elaborate about how I felt that God had used her as a vessel to reach out and touch me, given that she and my mom were close as cousins when they were much younger, perhaps even before I was born. Furthermore I said, that “connection” is what is reaching out, touching, and INSPIRING many people throughout the “Facebook world” in the form of notes and stories I had been creating from her emails for nearly two years. She looked at me, smiled, and said, “Well, could be. Who knows?”
So now, you tell me. Do YOU believe that “things happen for a reason?” Do you believe there is such a thing as “divine intervention?” Are there events, things that have “happened”, people who have just “happened” to come into your life at a time when you needed them most? I do. I think He does, too.