truth behind coincidence

“I don’t understand what it is,” I kept complaining (though I’m sure I sounded grateful) to everyone who would at least not think I’m completely crazy. “I don’t understand why these ‘coincidences’ occur all the time. Anything that I say– or even think about subconsciously for two seconds– happens.” And then I would elaborate, and receive the general response:

“Wow, that is strange. You should start thinking about me winning the lottery.”

It was rare to receive a genuine answer, and I desperately wanted one. Of course, I’m a master at creating my own hypotheses, regardless of whether or not they are logical. So, naturally, I formed a partially logical conclusion: it was karma. It was because of those inspirational anonymous acts of kindness the short-lived “change the world” movement I was a part of last summer worked so hard to achieve. Our acts were so random that the universe had to really think hard to compete with us, but as far as I knew I was the only one receiving such constant synchronistic signs. Or was that just because I was more aware and accepting of these mysteries? I had also come to the conclusion that these occurrences weren’t simply mysterious coincidences; they were miracles.

Still, I refused to acknowledge my own underlying beliefs about the origins of miracles because my beliefs had been challenged in more ways than I could accommodate for in the past few years.

It wasn’t until my former best friend called me in college (which was also a spontaneous miracle because I had been wishing I could call her just seconds before) that I received an answer. A real, confident, non-sarcastic answer that I would have never pictured her saying– or even thinking– in person, and especially not over the phone. Yet her voice was assuring, not in the least way awkward, and not in the least way like her to say. Her life didn’t reflect those words. Her mother would certainly never believe she told me this. I wouldn’t have ever believed she would tell me this after I rambled on about all these strangely inconceivable miraculous happenings, but she did:

“You know, God works in mysterious ways and I think he’s on your side forever.”

I was speechless. Yes, I wanted to say, You are completely right. At this moment, my perspective of my own friend I felt I knew as a sister flipped a one-eighty. She was so much wiser than me, although she had always labeled me as the “wise” sister. I wanted to tell her this, and ask her where this profound confident knowledge was coming from.

He’s not on my side, though. All the things I’ve accomplished I’ve had to do all on my own. I’ve never had any help from him or anyone else,” she continued. “You’re lucky.”

Did this luck last forever? Or do I have to be seeking it? Seeking Him?

I couldn’t see her eyes when she told me this, but now I imagine they would look similar to those of the girl I received my second real answer from. We were lounging in cushioned chairs, consuming forkfuls of carrot cake as I rambled off my multiple stories to her while our mutual best friend gazed into her cell phone and temporarily became lost in a different dimension (after telling us a strange occurrence of her own which I will write about later).

The track star, the rebel, the girl whose heart continues to be shattered day after day, did not even mention the word “weird” in her response. She glanced off to the side, her gaze fixed on something invisible,  and she was smiling– almost smirking. She turned back to me and said, simply,

“You’ve been touched by an angel. That’s what it is.”

“Maybe,” I said and immediately regretted it. She, too, was also wise beyond what her life reflects. I shouldn’t have even questioned her knowledge.

She shrugged. “That’s what it is. I wish these things would happen to me like they do to you two.”

That night, I pondered if it was really that simple for an angel to reach down from heaven and brush my shoulder. Then I suddenly remembered a time when someone, a stranger to me, hugged me and said, “You have just been hugged by an angel.” I was filled with more skepticism than ever at the time, but now I wonder if it’s true. Or perhaps I have been touched by multiple angels, which I wouldn’t doubt.

Perhaps I will never know why they happen, but I have learned throughout the past few years one sure thing: there really are no coincidences.

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