Picked For A Purpose 3: Seeds Sown
Sometimes people of faith speak of coincidence as being God-incidents. So while a coincidence might be described as random - an accident, chance, luck, fluke, or twist of fate - a God-incident is thought to be an unexpected occurrence in which God is perceived to have had an influence. Unlike a coincidence, it is seen, with hindsight, to have purpose. And when multiple God-incidents occur, they may be seen to conform to a pattern; to be part of a bigger rationale.
Those who distinguish this pattern and observe the purpose behind it find it astonishing. Which is why it never ceases to amaze me that in a family not given to spiritual insights or experiences (what my father jokingly referred to as a family of heathens - though I should qualify that by saying 'so far') I appear to have been singled out for a life of faith.
But why should God pick me out? And from such an early age?
Please don't be put off by the 'baby-talk' that follows. In my search for clarity in the mists of depression, it helped me to relive the memories of infancy and childhood with the same understanding I brought to them at the time - and only then to analyse them.
THE SEEDS OF AWAKENING
Mummy says it's nearly Christmas. The cousins, Simon an' Chrissie have come to stay wiv us. They are going Next Door cos they was asked if they’d like to see the 'tivity. I love Simon and Chrissie an’ I want to go too. The 'tivity is the Baby Jesus' birthday. Next Door is a convent. That's a place where ladies in long black frocks with veils over their heads live. Mummy says they're called nuns.
Mummy says I can go Next Door if Cousin Simon looks after me. The babies aren't coming. They're still too little. Only big girls like me an' Chrissie can go.
Only I’m not a big girl. I’m useless! Chrissie stands on tiptoe to see the ‘tivity, but I’m too little. Her bruvver Simon lifts me up so's I can see the 'tivity prop'ly. It's a 'normous glass box. Simon says it's a fish tank. But there's no water an' no fish inside. Only lots of little dollies an' a pretend shed with lots of straw.
It's so beautiful I can't breathe. Simon lifts me higher and props me up on his knee. Chrissie says the dolls are the Baby Jesus in a manger, and his Mummy, Mary, and his Daddy, Dophus. Behind them are some angels. I know they're angels 'cos they got wings. In the front, there's lots of straw and some cows and sheeps. It’s ‘mazing.
Simon puts me down. We're in Next Door's church an' there's crackly music an' singing playing on a radiogram: Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head.
I know about the Baby Jesus 'cos Mummy says prayers with me every night when I go to bed. Sometimes it's, 'Sorry I been a naughty girl today. Please help me to be good for Mummy and Daddy tomorrow.' Sometimes it's, 'Please make Grandma better, and help all the children who haven't got no food.' An' sometimes it's 'Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.'
That one frights me, 'cos I don't want to die before I wake. Daddy says lots of little children he knowed when he was in Burma fighting the germs died before they waked 'cos they didn't have enough food to eat. Daddy says he used to give them money to buy food but nasty grown-ups took it off them. So he an' some of his friends who flied airy-planes used to buy the food theirselves, and get all the little children together to eat it, so's they could keep the greedy big people away. He's kind, my Daddy.
COINCIDENCE? OR GOD-INCIDENTS?
What a coincidence that we should have been living in rented premises next door to a convent at Christmas time. And that my cousins should have come to stay and thus accompanied me to see a nativity for the very first time.
Or was it? Could this have been a God-incident? A seed of awakening in my life, planted by a loving God who wanted to open my eyes to his existence? If so, it’s a seed that took root.
I wasn't singled out by God. The fact is that we've all be chosen to be adopted into his family. It's just that we've also been given free-will - to decide whether we'll accept the gift. Or not!
“The kingdom of God is like a man scattering seed on the ground and then going to bed each night and getting up every morning, while the seed sprouts and grows up, though he has no idea how it happens. The earth produces a crop without any help from anyone: first a blade, then the ear of corn, then the full-grown grain in the ear. And as soon as the crop is ready, he sends his reapers in without delay, for the harvest-time has come.” Mark 4:26-29
- What God-incidents can you recall in your early life?
- What seeds of awakening were sown in your childhood?
FIRST POST: Picked For A Purpose 1: Me & Daddy, Daddy & Me
NEXT TIME: Picked For A Purpose:
Twice a wife, three times a mum, and seven times a grandma, Merrilyn Williams is also a multi-published author with a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller.
Now writing fiction, as Mel Menzies, her books are available from Waterstones, Amazon and, at discount via PayPal, from her book page www.melmenzies.co.uk/books
To hear Mel talking about her Evie Adams books, Time to Shine and Chosen? on BBC Radio Devon click the button on the right.
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