Coincidences often happen
David Jones on the real joy and celebration when what is lost is found
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.