I was almost 5 years old, and my mother and younger brother and I were waiting in London, England to fly stand-by to Toronto. My dad and uncle had gone ahead, months earlier to find work. They both succeeded in getting jobs at the old DeHavilland Aircraft Plant. However, as much as things went well at first, they both eventually were laid off.
After my dad passed in 2016, I had been going through his affairs, preparing to sell his house. While going through an envelope containing their marriage and birth certificates, I came across this telegraph sent in August 1951 to my mom. I could not believe that they had kept the original telegraph that read:
“CANCEL FLIGHT. NO JOB. NO HOUSE. RETURNING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. LETTER FOLLOWING. LOTS OF LOVE. BILL”
Now, my mom never got that telegram! I thank God that she did not. At first, life in Canada was a struggle for my parents, having to live above a store with a distant relative. ‘Uncle Ed’ and his wife, had only a one bedroom small apartment, but gladly gave up their bedroom to my mom and dad, and my younger brother and I. Eventually my dad did find work again and we able to move out of the apartment and into part of a house off the Danforth in Toronto. As they say, the rest is history.
Since then, I have often wondered how life could have been so different had my mom got that telegram. Was it a coincidence my mom never got that telegram in time? Or was it a God-incidence?
Another God-incidence was the summer I met my wife. It was back in 1972, and Denise had been preparing, along with some other young people, to go to a poor area of Mexico. Coordinated by the Scarboro Foreign Missionaries, they were to bring some supplies and to help the people to become more self-sufficient. Denise had spent a year learning Spanish so as to be able to communicate with the Mexicans.
Just a few months before they were to leave, there were some newspaper reports about violent uprisings in some of the poorer areas in Mexico. Denise’s parents were understandably upset at the prospect of their young daughter going into any of those areas and forbid her to go. At that time, Denise still lived in her parents’ home, and fresh out of high school, she had not yet established herself in the working world. Thus it was, greatly disappointed; she put off her trip to another year.
A God-incidence or a coincidence that we met that very same summer that she had planned to be away? As a result we have enjoyed forty-three years of marriage, and have four great sons and four fantastic grandchildren.
One more God-incidence. I can recall a few times, where I was lucky to still be alive. One afternoon my friend Joan was driving and we came to a red light at the corner of Waverly and Rossland. Deep into conversation, Joan did not see the light change to green. After a second or two, I alerted her to the fact that we now had the right of way. Just as we started out, a huge tanker truck drove downhill through the intersection. Had we driven out immediately at the turn of the lights, we would have been killed for sure.
So thinking back have you had any God-incidences? I believe we have all had them, but sometimes we’re not even aware. My hope for you in 2018 is that we become more aware of God-incidences in our lives.
I’m at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ if you would like to share some stories of your God-incidences.