Coincidenc­es of­ten hap­pen

David Jones on the real joy and cel­e­bra­tion when what is lost is found

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS -

THE Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val brings to­gether many art and cul­tural events ev­ery Au­gust.

It’s an ex­cit­ing time with the many “fringe” events which in them­selves at­tract many to en­joy the dra­matic and mu­si­cal de­lights for which the fes­ti­val has earned its world­wide rep­u­ta­tion.

It’s of­ten over­looked that the Ed­in­burgh book fes­ti­val is also held in Au­gust. Like the Hay fes­ti­val held ear­lier in the sum­mer there are many who en­joy it whose love of lit­er­a­ture and the world of books means they travel widely to be part of these much-loved events.

It was on a fam­ily day out to Hay some years ago that we tramped from shop to shop brows­ing and even buy­ing some books. The last visit we made was to a con­verted cin­ema where, even out­side, there were stacks of books. My eye caught a rather worn-look­ing chil­dren’s story book that looked vaguely fa­mil­iar.

Why I both­ered to pick it up I don’t know, but I did, and imag­ine the sur­prise when I glanced in the front.

There, in scrawny child­ish hand­writ­ing was my name and my then home ad­dress. I just could not be­lieve it. All the way home I won­dered how it had ended up in Hay – noth­ing came to mind, but it was well worth the 50p I paid the rather be­mused shop­keeper who did not quite un­der­stand my ex­cite­ment!

The book now has pride of place on my book­shelf. I of­ten pick it up and won­der how it ended up in my hands that day.

Friends and fam­ily soon got tired of hear­ing the story, be­cause I was so amazed, and still am, that this book which I had lost at 11 years of age had re­turned to my life 50 years later. All I can do is to put it down to co­in­ci­dence, and an amaz­ing one at that.

Coincidenc­es of­ten hap­pen and most of the time we have no ex­pla­na­tion or rea­son why they oc­cur. The Bi­ble of­ten tells of God’s care and com­pas­sion which is al­ways there for us and has noth­ing to do with change or chance. It’s no co­in­ci­dence that God loves us and Je­sus’s min­istry brought home to those who lis­tened that such love ac­tively seeks a re­sponse from us.

He told the sto­ries of a shep­herd search­ing for a lost sheep, a woman who swept her house to find a lost jewel, a fa­ther who looks to a dis­tant land to see his way­ward son re­turn home.

Noth­ing of chance or co­in­ci­dence here, no ques­tions asked or any pos­si­bil­ity of re­jec­tion be­cause of past fail­ings, just real joy and cel­e­bra­tion when that which is lost is found and safely back where it ought to be.

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