God speaks to us in coincidence. -C.S. Lewis
My mother-in-law recently gave me a book called Lady of Milkweed Manor. She wanted me to read it right away because the book touched on topics she and I had just discussed at length such as nursing and motherhood. She was so impressed with the coincidence of reading a book that mentioned things we had said, almost word for word in places, just a few weeks after we'd said them.
The book was a very entertaining piece of historical fiction and I'd recommend it to other ladies. But, among the other things I said the book mentioned, it also described how milkweed plants, usually considered garden pests since they so hard to get rid of and so ugly, were used to cure several common ailments back in the old days.
Interesting enough, however, I didn't take the picture on yesterday's post, the picture of the milkweed plant, after reading that book, as you might expect. I just found that photo among some of my oldest picture files on the computer, taken long before my mother in law and I spoke, long before I read the book, long before I started trying my hand at plant identification and long before I knew anything about milkweed. It was taken years ago on one of our trips to the apple orchard. The plant must have struck me as I was passing by, so I clicked a photo of it, saved it on the computer with other pictures, then basically forgot about it, until I happened to see it the other day as I was browsing through old photos. It's pods and fuzzy seeds are unmistakable to me now that I've read the book and now that I know something about them, so when I happened to see the photo, I knew what it was right away.
I wonder. Did I whisper a brief question to myself when I took this picture that God in His perfect timing saw fit to answer through my mother-in-law years later? Knowing myself, I am sure I must have wondered, however briefly, what the plant was called when I took the picture. Seeing the picture now is proof enough for me that I did, even though I honestly can't remember asking such a question.
The Lord's fingerprints are all over my life in little ways like this, coincidence piled upon coincidence. And, though others may not see His hand in this kind of thing, I give him glory that I took a random picture so long ago and after so many years through a book that she flat out insisted I read, my mother-in-law unwittingly helped me identify a plant I took a picture of and more importantly, helped me see the hand of God in my life at the present... and in the past.
God once walked with Adam in the cool of the day in the garden. And, I imagine that Adam must have asked Him what this or that plant was as they passed by. Perhaps God was with me that day in the orchard, in fact, my theology insists that He is, and since things can't be exactly as they were in the beginning, His answer to my question took longer... a lot longer... and it came through my mother.
Thanks, Mom. I am glad you value coincidence as I do. I know you will see God fingerprints all over this one, too!