Thought for the Month (July 2016)


Have you ever stopped to think about strange things happening in your everyday life or why they happen? So many coincidences have happened to me recently. I am going to tell you a few of them.

Recently, I was invited to a long-time friend's special birthday party. I knew this friend had everything he needed. What could I give as a gift? I decided upon a fun gift which I knew he would like: a citronella candle in the shape of a pineapple which I wrapped in pretty tissue paper with a bow, plus a little card with a verse saying `When you sit in your garden with a G&T, light this up and think of me! Imagine my surprise and joy when opening the menu card at the table to find this verse under a picture of a pineapple, the symbol of warmth, friendship, welcome, hospitality and honour. Then, on each table, there was a pineapple! How was I to know that when I chose the same for a fun gift which, incidentally, my friend said was the best gift ever? It had reduced us both to tears.

I returned home to entertain some friends who I have known for almost forty years. On route to France with a caravan, they broke their journey to catch up with me for a few days. They are also long standing URC members in Lancashire, the gentleman having been a local preacher for many years. I had the opportunity to introduce him to Bob, only to discover they had a mutual friend in John Ellis, who had taken my own mother's funeral several years ago. I was not aware my friend knew John. Their Church had also formed a Local Ecumenical Partnership with the Methodist Church in 2003, so they had a good deal of advice to offer.

Can you believe the next coincidence? A recent daily reading was from Proverbs 19 v20 Look it up! That was not the end. We then paid a visit to Burswood when, having spent a while showing them around, we went into the bookshop, going our separate ways. When we met up after browsing, my friend and I had picked up the same book which, after discussion, we discovered we both had in mind for a mutual friend who was in need of spiritual help after a family bereavement and was questioning her belief. Next, at the till, when paying for our purchases the lady asked my friends where they were from. After a little discussion they discovered they had a mutual friend in a little village in Lancashire whom the T.W. lady was to visit the following week.

One last one I must mention. Audrey Mitchell suggested a while ago I get in- touch with a friend of hers to lead a Devotional at our Guild Meeting. When I made contact with this person, it was to find our paths had crossed before in business. Not only that, he was a very near neighbour of mine in my new home, which I moved into a few months ago. Needless to say, we have since become good friends.

So coincidences yes but I think it is: -

Gillian Langstaff, Assistant Editor and Senior Steward Methodist Group

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church