I just finished a little book that Santa left in my stocking called “When God Winks at You” - How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence - by SQuire Rushnell. This has triggered many conversations in my house regarding God’s everyday miracles vs. coincidences.
Through personal experience, I know that I experience more “coincidences” when I spend more time in prayer. So many, in fact, that I fear offending God by not immediately acknowledging these God winks. Sometimes I share them with others, sometimes not. “Wow – I dodged that one!” or “Good save!” does NOT give God the glory He so richly desires and deserves.
I’ll recount one God wink here that’s not too personal and doesn’t involved anyone but me (sometimes one has to change names to protect the innocent but not in this story!)
In 1989, a few years after my initial diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, my children were in school full time and I decided to get a seasonal part-time job. The position would allow me to begin work after the kids went to school and be home before the bus brought them back. Although I was over-qualified to pack boxes at a photo album distributor, the schedule worked for me. I was also unsure if my health would allow me to commit to full-time employment at that time.
Things went fairly well for the first couple of days. The job was simply filling packing boxes as they moved down a conveyor belt and moving them along to be shipped. The items were mostly photo albums, scrap books and boxes of greeting cards. The storage shelves were at various heights which required frequent bending and lifting multiple items. My hands ached from the time I went to bed at night until I left for work the next morning but I expected that to pass as I built up strength. What I didn’t expect, however, was for my back to go out on me when I got out of bed on the third day. I could barely move. I had a history of back problems but had not had a spasm as severe as this one in years.
I took some Tylenol and let the warm shower run down my lower back and pondered my dilemma. Here was my situation. If I called in sick on the third day, the job would have been gone. There were plenty of other stay-at-home moms to take my place. If I called in “injured” on the third day of my employment, I still would have been gone. It was a “trial” period and my employer would have thought I couldn’t handle the job. If I called in and asked for an accommodation they would have replied, “What’s an accommodation?” This was pre-ADA America. So to work I went with the only alternative available to me – I prayed all the way from my home in Ansonia to Beacon Falls. I prayed a pretty long time – I took all the back roads.
When I arrived at the warehouse, I parked close to the building, gently easing myself out of the car and onto my feet. I shuffled to the door and waved a “Good Morning” to the secretary who also acted as the receptionist.
“Oh, hi, Karen. The manager wanted me to speak to you as soon as you came in. It says on your application that you’ve done office work in the past, is that correct?”
“Well, yes, not in a while but for several years before I started my family”, I replied.
“Great, you can type and file and you’re familiar with office procedure. Good – we’d like you to work in the office for a few days – there’s a desk for you over here.”
A few days of office work and a week-end in between and I was back on the floor, able to finish the packing job until the season was over. Just a God “wink” and just when I needed one.