Tag Archives: Synchronicity

Mysterious Ways

This Sunday, I’m taking the worship service at a church (about half an hour’s drive from me).  The regular Minister was at the same Ministry Selection School with me in 1970, and our paths never crossed over all these years since then. On the next two Sunday’s, I’m in the pulpit of a newly ordained and inducted Minister, who was the trainee assistant to a Minister, who, in years gone by, was a student attachment at the Church where I was the Minister (St. Michael’s, Inveresk.). It gets stranger – the Church where I’m preaching in a couple of weeks time has, as its Session Clerk, the widow of the Minister, in whose Kirk in Edinburgh, I was the (very young) Assistant (1973-74)

Oh, and the Church where I’m preaching THIS Sunday – the predecessor of the Minister in whose Kirk grouping that I’m conducting worship? My old “boss” from all these years ago in Edinburgh!

coincidence? synchronicity? or….. something more profound?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

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another story of synchronicity

The Meenister’s Log

My maternal Grandmother was widowed when she was about 30.  My grandfather was a Merchant Seaman of roughly the same age. They both lived in Edinburgh with their two small children, my late mother and her younger brother.

On one trip, nearing Scotland, he developed pneumonia which in those days could be fatal.  The ship docked at Glasgow and he was taken to the Victoria Infirmary where sadly, at such a young age, he died.  He left a young widow and two little children.

My Grandmother remained in Edinburgh until old age and infirmity made it impossible for her to live on her own.

We had long since moved to Bearsden – just outside Glasgow – and she spent her last few years staying with us.  She eventually passed away.

Our family doctor, Dr Reid, who was nearing retirement, came and checked out everything, before signing the death certificate.

Later, when my mother was going through my Grandmother’s papers, she came across my Grandfather’s death certificate from way back in the mid 1920s.

It had been signed by Dr Lawrence Reid – yes, the same.

He had become a good family friend over the years and my Mum asked him about it – and indeed 40 years before he had been a Junior Doctor in the Victoria.

Hamlet:

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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Ron Rattner’s “Why The Choir Was Late” check out Ron’s site: www.SillySutras.com

The following article telling the story originally appeared in the March 27, 1950 issue of Life Magazine, was reprinted in the June 1950 issue of Reader’s Digest, and in the 1951 30th Anniversary Reader’s Digest Reader. And it was republished in 1991 by Time-Life Books in World of Luck: Library of Curious and Unusual Facts. ..
WHY THE CHOIR WAS LATE by George H. Edeal

It happened on the evening of March 1 in the town of Beatrice, Nebraska. In the afternoon the Reverend Walter Klempel had gone to the West Side Baptist Church to get things ready for choir practice. He lit the furnace – most of the singers were in the habit of arriving around 7.15, and it was chilly in the church – and went home to dinner. But at 7.10, when it was time for him to go back to the church with his wife and daughter, Marilyn Ruth, it turned out that Marilyn Ruth’s dress was soiled, so Mrs. Klempel ironed another. Thus they were still at home when it happened.

Ladona Vandegrift, a high school sophomore, was having trouble with a geometry problem. She knew practice began promptly and always came early. But she stayed to finish the problem.

Royena Estes was ready, but the car would not start. So she and her sister, Sadie, called Ladona Vandegrift, and asked her to pick them up. But Ladona was the girl with the geometry problem, and the Estes sisters had to wait.

Mrs. Leonard Schuster would ordinarily have arrived at 7.20 with her small daughter, Susan. But on this particular evening she had to go to her mother’s house to help her get ready for a missionary meeting.

Herbert Kipf, lathe operator, would have been ahead of time but had put off an important letter. “I can’t think why,” he said. He lingered over it and was late.

It was a cold evening. Stenographer Joyce Black, feeling “just plain lazy,” stayed in her warm house until the last possible moment. She was almost ready to leave.

Because his wife was away, machinist Harvey Ahl was taking care of his two boys. He was going to take them to practice with him, but somehow he got wound up talking. When he looked at his watch, he saw he was already late.

Marilyn Paul, the pianist, had planned to arrive half an hour early. However, she fell asleep after dinner, and when her mother awakened her at 7.15 she had time only to tidy up and start out.

Mrs. F.E. Paul, choir director, and mother of the pianist, was late simply because her daughter was. She had tried unsuccessfully to awaken the girl earlier.

High school girls Lucille Jones and Dorothy Wood are neighbors and customarily go to practice together. Lucille was listening to a 7-to-7:30 radio program and broke her habit of promptness because she wanted to hear the end. Dorothy waited for her.

At 7.25, with a roar heard in almost every corner of Beatrice, the West Side Baptist Church blew up. The walls fell outward, the heavy wooden roof crashed straight down like the weight in a deadfall. But, because of such matters as a soiled dress, a cat nap, an unfinished letter, a geometry problem and a stalled car, all of the members of the choir were late – something which had never happened before.

Firemen thought the explosion had been caused by natural gas, which may have leaked into the church from a broken pipe outside and been ignited by the fire in the furnace. The Beatrice choir members had no particular theory about the fire’s cause, but each of them began to reflect on the heretofore inconsequential details of his life, wondering at exactly what point it is that one can say, “This is an act of God.”

We can only speculate on answers to these questions, or on other possible explanations. But whatever our views, such marvels and blessings can infuse us with awe and gratitude for our miraculous life in this wondrous world
and with abiding faith in the eternal mystery of Divine Love –
its Source.

And so may it be!

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