Twenty some years ago my sister-in-law’s family and ours fell out of touch, at least daily. It wasn’t due to any family feud, ill wills, or any bad feelings, it was just one of those life changes. They were much older than us, so their children grew up and moved out while ours were still in the K-12 time. My sister-in-law and her husband moved out of our neighborhood to live closer to their children, and while my wife kept in almost daily phone contact, our actual visits were relegated to special events (graduation, marriage, etc.). I’m sure many of you can relate to this, it’s not really that unusual.
In January we decided, for some still unknown reason, to take them out to dinner to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Not a big anniversary (40, 50, etc.), just a chance for us to get together to talk and enjoy each other’s company again. It was a great time, and they were surprised at us picking up the check. Next month we repeated the event (dutch, of course), and had just as great a time. It was really nice to connect to them again after so many years of infrequent visits.
Two weeks ago my brother-in-law was at the local senior center, his wife came to pick him up only to find him staring into space. They couldn’t get him to respond, so they called 911. He had a hemorrhagic stroke. Now, there are two different types of strokes – hemorrhagic and ischemic. Ischemic is the type of stroke most of us are aware of, and know someone who has had one, a clot in a blood vessel blocks off the flow of blood to a part of the brain. A chemical is introduced to break up the clot, then the recovery process beings, usually requiring some type of physical therapy.
Hemorrhagic strokes are different. A blood vessel bursts and blood flows into the brain, surgery to repair the burst is usually not successful, due to a number of factors. My brother-in-law survived the surgery, but never came out of his coma. Two days ago my sister-in-law made the difficult decision to stop the respirator, two hours later he passed away.
Now, many of you may be asking why I think that this is proof to me that God exists. Many would say that this proves there is no God, for a loving God would not take someone away from their family. Their prayers for him would have been answered, and he would have come out of the coma. But, I look at it this way, my wife and I were given a chance to reconnect with him for two months before he was taken home. Sure, some will say it is coincidence, but IMHO, this is too much for mere coincidence. After 20 years of separation, we get together just two months before he died. This is a loving God giving us a chance to reconnect and have a last few good memories with him.
Over my lifetime I have had many such coincidences (and known others with similar occurrences), times when too many thing would have to come together to make something happen. It is my belief that a God who knows the number of hairs on my head can take time out of a busy day to bring a loving act together, to watch over His children and know what they really need, and when they need it. These things happen to all of us, the trick is noticing when He is showing us His love, and when what we experience is just a coincidence.
Why do you believe in God? Do you have a story to share that might help others?