Here is another odd “coincidence” similar to the one I reported happening to me in my recent Easter sermon. Yesterday in the late afternoon our church held its big Spring roast beef dinner and mini-bazaar. There were a lot of people in the building. At one point I went out to the mail box and brought in the mail to the church office. There was a letter which I opened from Gloria, who hasn’t been at church for about 9 months because of a series of health concerns with which she has struggled. The letter thanked the congregation for the prayer shawl I had brought her a while back, and for all our prayers. I thought to myself, “Gloria’s letter should go in the monthly church newsletter.” Barb edits our newsletter. I was in the process of writing “Barb”, on the letter, to be followed with a short note asking her to publish Gloria’s letter, when precisely at that moment Barb came into the office saying, “Gloria is here.” She and her husband Bob had just arrived for the dinner, the first time she had set foot in the building for nine months.
The odd coincidence that I experienced last month took place the day before Easter when I drove to Boonton to go to a costume shop I had heard of but never been inside in order to rent a Roman soldier costume for children’s sermon I had in mind giving in worship the next day. I got out of my car and stepped onto the main street to look for the shop, at which point I heard my name called from across the street. I looked up to see my good friends Joe and Laurie. Laurie was holding in her hands a Roman soldier costume. She had used it the night before in an Easter pageant at the church at which she works. She was on her way to return the costume, having been delayed by an encounter with another friend (otherwise, the costume would have already been returned.) In amazement, I crossed the street, told her I was there for a Roman soldier costume. She handed it to me.
What am I to make of these strange convergence of events? I realize that it can be seen as nothing but a coincidence — that these related events just happened to occur simultaneously by nothing more than mere chance. It doesn’t “feel”, however, like mere chance. Both instances seem to be clear examples of the phenomenon Carl Jung referred to as “synchronicity”. Here is a quote from a wickopedia definition:
“The idea of synchronicity is that the conceptual relationship of minds, defined by the relationship between ideas, is intricately structured in its own logical way and gives rise to relationships which have nothing to do with causal relationships in which a cause precedes an effect. Instead, causal relationships are understood as simultaneous — that is, the cause and effect occur at the same time.
“Synchronous events reveal an underlying pattern, a conceptual framework which encompasses, but is larger than, any of the systems which display the synchronicity.”
In other words, weird stuff happens. We are related to one another, and impact one another, in ways that go far beyond our understanding.
The woman who does my taxes is a member of my church. She’s been under the weather the last couple of days, which is lousy timing for a tax accountant with April 15th approaching. Her husband told me that she had a dream last night in which she had figured out a way to save me some money. He said she would keep me posted if the dream proved to mean something more than that she’s worrying over her client’s tax returns.