Synchronicity. Coincidences. Things that make the flesh on your arms rise up in goosebumps. These are the things that have been happening to us, and what I refer to as “listening to the Universe”. When coincidences happen, I sit up and take notice: what is happening? What does it mean? Is this Divine Guidance? Is Someone trying to tell me something?
Shortly after the labyrinth was done, we received a phone call from a minister with Unity, our church. She’s a youth director, and was organizing an international conference for youth and leaders in Kansas City and needed some support. Specifically, she needed a male sponsor to come to the conference, stay in the boys’ dorm, and help supervise the boys at the conference. Martin had wanted to go to this conference for months and months, but knew there wouldn’t be the vacation time to go. Now there was time, but there wasn’t any money. The youth director offered to cut the price to just cover room and board for the week, and our church offered to cover the cost. So now there was time AND money to do what he’d been longing to do.
One of the people he was hoping to see at this conference was Robin, who has a retreat center not far from Lawrence, Kansas. Robin has been working with grandmothers in South Africa, known as gogos (gogo is the Zulu word for grandmother). This is about all that I knew of her work there. But in light of the volunteer vacation idea, Martin was hoping to connect with her, and hear more about it.
I was not going to the conference, I was going to stay home. There was some discussion about what to do about the car–we have one car, having recently sold our second car. If Martin were to take it with him, I’d be car-less for the week. The other option was that I could drive him there and bring the car back with me, and then go at the end of the week and pick him up. Finally, that’s what I decided to do.
But then, the night before we were to leave to take him to the conference, I got a very clear message in my head. “You’ll regret it if you don’t pack a bag.” I was skeptical. Really??!? There was no room for me at this conference–we have friends in the city, so that might be…but…it just seemed weird. Okay, whatever, it costs me nothing to throw a few clothes in a bag and toss the bag into the trunk.
We get to the conference and Martin is registering and I’m saying hello to several friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. Pretty soon a friend of ours, who is not biologically my sister, but IS my sister, shows up. This is remarkable for several reasons. First of all, my sister never shows up on time to registration for these events, she’s always late. This day she’s not only on time, she’s early. We scream, we hug, we’re so happy to see each other. She asks if I’m staying.
“No, I’m not registered.”
“You’ve GOT to stay. You can stay with me!”
I grinned and said, “I’m pretty sure that would be so not okay. You’re supposed to be here to uphold the rules, not flaunt them.”
So she convinces me to talk to a mutual friend, who lives very nearby and who has put my sister up on her couch on more than one occasion. This friend agrees to let me crash on her couch. I could use the time to have a private, contemplative retreat on the grounds, and still be able to visit with conference attendees during their free time.
Coincidences, right? Okay, so the packed bag came in handy. But why am I here?
In the meantime, Martin is registering for the conference. He turns around and there is Robin, who he’d been hoping to meet up with. They talk, and realize that they’ve been assigned to the same small group that will meet throughout the week during the conference. Synchronicity. Oh, and by the way, Robin has brought a teen and an adult man from South Africa to the conference. And the man, John, is Martin’s roommate.
Coincidences. What do they mean?