A few months ago, I had an unusual ending to a trip up north. Surviving an overnight train ride, sleeping on a lumpy mattress (in third class - open bunks, not cabins), I spent the next two days at my destination connecting with people I’ve become acquainted with over the last few years, as well as making some new friends.
On the last day, I checked out of the hotel with two hours to kill before my train’s departure back home. While sipping one last cup of coffee at a local café, I’d regretted I hadn’t bought gifts for some of the special ladies who had helped me over the last few days: my translator who lives in this town and an office manager at the hotel who arranged a free breakfast at the hotel restaurant. And then there was Olga, a dear friend I met here six years ago. I was sorry that we were unable to meet this time around because of our conflicting schedules.
Finally, it was time to head to the train station. On my way out of the store plaza, I saw some elegant red roses and bought one from the vendor. All the while I was thinking what a nice gift it would have been for my translator Vera. Out on the street, I walked about 10 paces and there was Vera! I held out the rose and said, “Here, this is for you!” She was surprised to see me and squealed with joy, “It’s for me?”
In the same block was another small florist. I bought two more roses, not sure why or what I would do with them. It was unlikely that they would survive the overnight train ride back home. Five minutes later, as I was waiting for a bus to the train station, the lady from the hotel came strolling by with a friend! Second rose delivered! Amazing! Then…it was my turn to be really surprised! Olga, my long time friend, showed up at the train station to say “goodbye”? I didn’t know she was coming. Third rose delivered!
In a town of 220,000 people where I know only a handful of people, how likely is it that I would run into all three of these women in less than an hour’s time? I am not sure what to make of this experience. Was it all a coincidence? Were these divine appointments? Were these meetings the result of other people’s prayers for a blessed visit? Was it God’s love for these women that won out over my lack of planning? Whatever the cause, you can be sure I was blessed as much or more than these women!
By the way, the bouquet of roses at the top of this post is for you!