In the Spirit of What Are the Chances

Sometimes you sit down in a hospital or restaurant or airport, and when you take a moment to look around, you find yourself in the presence of someone who looks a little familiar. Okay, really familiar. Is that so-and-so’s doppelgänger, or is that actually them? What are they doing here? You tilt your head a little and feel kind of embarrassed for staring so long and as intently, until they catch you.

What happens next is a glorious coincidence of time and space pulling two life trajectories together. It’s just this instant, all this ricocheting energy and shifting plans and tragic randomness, when Love seems to bring about a collision.

Eyes light up.

How wonderful to see you here! Where are you headed? I’m sorry we have to meet under these circumstances. This is your first time in town in five years, and here I am, with my family, out to dinner because we just didn’t feel like cooking? It’s so good to see you.

What are the chances? We ask, shaking our heads and grinning.

We are delighted – de-lighted – when our “eyes light up.” It must be the presence of the Holy Spirit transferring much-needed joy, much-needed hope, much-needed faith, this de-light. This coincidence. This holy happenstance.

Because, really, what are the chances?

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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