You begin to see the marvelous connections and invisible threads that connect you from one person to the another. – Squire Rushnell, Divine Alignment
It’s April 2020 and Covid-19 has hit. The world changes and turns us upside down. I’m almost finished writing my autobiography. Or at least I believe I am. It’s about my voluntary visits with seniors who suffer from dementia. I want it to have a happy ending and now I’m not sure how my story should end.
Writing is like painting. I’m never done. I’m never satisfied. I see the fine details I can add to make it a little more perfect. If I add this shading over here, there will be more depth. This sunrise should have more yellow.
I suspect I’ll feel that way about my book. What did I forget? What powerful message am I missing? Will people even read it?
Then something happens that takes my breath away. You could say it’s nothing short of Divine Alignment. Divine Alignment is a book I read about God wink moments that seem coincidental yet really aren’t. Written by Squire Rushnell, the book points to real-life events that are so astonishing they defy explanation.
Let me explain. Early April, I post a note on my neighborhood Facebook page. “Does anyone make masks? I’d like to buy a few.” Norma, a neighbor I don’t know, responds. She writes that she sews masks and will leave them for me in the morning on her front porch.
As promised, Norma sews three masks for me. She refuses to accept payment. She even makes one with Seahawk colors for my husband Joe. Humbled by her act of kindness, I pick up the masks from her doorstep and leave her with a nice bottle of wine and a handwritten thank you card.
We become Facebook friends and soon learn we have much more in common. She’s an artist, she’s a poet, she loves dogs, and even shares my appetite for Maker’s Mark.
I’m going to love this girl I think. I can’t wait until we can meet and connect. When life goes back to normal; whatever normal is anymore.
Mid-April, Norma writes a poem and posts it to her Facebook page. It’s about her father. He is lying in the hospital and has Covid-19. I respond with heartfelt prayers and words of comfort. How devastating to have a loved one in this situation. It’s my worst nightmare. To die alone, to die without family. It frightens me to the core.
A few days later, Norma’s husband posts. He writes that, sadly, Norma’s father has passed. I read her father’s name. Oh my God. I read it again. I scream out in disbelief. I realize that Norma’s dad is JACOB – ONE of my FAVORITE residents at the senior home I visit.
I RUN to tell my husband the news. “You’re not going to believe this coincidence,” I tell him.
I rush to send Norma a private message about my relationship with her dad. I let her know there’s a chapter in my book about him.
Norma – I’m so sorry to learn about your dad. I believe your dad is one of the seniors I visit at Firestone. I’m a volunteer there. On the weekends, I visit with seniors and hold their hands. He was my favorite. When you’re ready, we should talk by phone.
Norma responds to my message right away. She confirms her dad Jacob is the senior I visited. She writes, “God works in mysterious ways and we were meant to meet. Yes, my dad was taken from Covid-19. He is no longer suffering from dementia and no longer gasping for air. I’m relieved yet overcome with emotions beyond description.”
She tells me she believes in miracles. She has an overwhelming sense of happiness among the sadness and tears. I think it’s because these divine moments make us believe there really is a GOD who seeks to connect us. There really is divine alignment when we look closely.
Later we meet again in person – at a distance – talking from her driveway.
Extending her arms out to me; her eyes full of tears, she exclaims, “I want to hug you so badly.” I want to hug her too. Yet, I’m so glad I can see her, speak with her, and comfort her in a way that astounds me.
Norma says, “Jeanne, I’m not really a religious person. I suppose I’m spiritual in a way. Yet, this makes me feel even more connected to something bigger. I truly believe my dad was a conduit to our meeting.”
My question about whether or not I should finish my book is answered for me. I see clearly how a kind act from a perfect stranger is not a coincidence. We both feel comfort in knowing we have a common bond. More than we’d ever imagine.
I know this is DIVINE ALIGNMENT. I know this is the purpose for my story. I know it’s a story I need to tell. Now more than ever.
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