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Story Time: God Winks

(Mary) sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. —“(She) has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  
Luke 10:39, 42

Think with me today of all those coincidences in your life that only in retrospect have blessed your socks off. Squire Rushnell, in his book by that name, calls them God Winks. Here’s my most recent story.

 Retirement has been good to us. We are able to escape to the mountains to avoid the Texas summers, as well as extend our spring and fall at the beach. However, when we are home we are forced to do our best to take care of things: make sure the sprinkler is set to come on, the heads are in repair, the bills are paid, drive the spare car (battery being an issue). And before we leave we do routine adjustments: turn down the water heaters, turn off the ice maker, adjust the thermostats, let the neighbors know to keep an eye out, get our son Kevin to check the house and water the plants and drive the cars. But you just can’t anticipate everything.

So when our alarm company left a message on our phone last Friday that they were getting a low battery signal, we were grateful to know, grateful Kevin was on call to handle that little detail. 

As he opened the garage door to enter the house with the new battery, all he could hear was this dreadful high-pitched squawk. He turned off the house alarm; still an obnoxious squeal, which he traced to the freezer in the outside storage room. The alarm on the freezer—yes, they make alarms for freezers these days—was going off. Good news, the food was still frozen solid and he was able to transfer it all to the refrigerator freezers. You can imagine the potential mess. Or what if the freezer had not malfunctioned until after he left that day—could there have been a fire? At the very least, we would have come home to such a putrid odor.

I could stop my story here and say, “What a coincidence, this two alarm morning.” And to tell you the truth, I think of all the times I have done just that. Or I could look at this incident as a wink in my direction from God. 

In one of my kids’ books, author Leo Lionni tells of the field mouse, Frederick, who chooses not to gather nuts for the winter with the other field mice. Rather, he sits on a sunny rock storing up sun rays and colors and words for the cold days ahead. (Reminds me a little of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking up His teachings.) When the food runs out, Frederick warms the hearts and feeds the spirits of his fellow mice. And so in story time we learn to gather and store up our God winks like Mary, even the little ones. Then we can return to them in the tough times, to warm our spirits and remind us that God is alive and well in what is not mere coincidence.

Nancy P

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