Destiny, Faith and Hope

There is a sage piece of Yiddish folk wisdom that says: “If one person tells you you’re a donkey, think about it. If another person tells you you’re a donkey, think about it. If a third person tells you you’re a donkey, put on a saddle.”

In the last 24 hours, I had these 3 encounters:

A young woman standing outside a grocery store asks me to purchase some  food and donate it to a group feeding the poor on Easter. I, in turn, ask her to accompany me into the market and pick out some items that she feels would work best. Then with large cans of chicken soup and rice in tow, we exit, and I place them in the collection container. “Thank you,” she says. “You are welcome,” I say. “What is your name?” I ask, and she says, “My name is Destiny.” I pause, thinking my path has crossed with Destiny, but say nothing.

One hour later, I get a call from the pharmacy letting me know my prescription is ready for pick up. “Thank you,” I say. “No problem,” she says. “What is your name?” I ask, and she says, “My name is Faith.” Now, I pause again, and really do think twice about my path crossing with both Destiny and now Faith.

Later that day, my wife and I are walking downtown and stop at a frozen yogurt store. A friend of mine is sitting there with a young woman. When I walk over to say hello and introduce my wife, he introduces his daughter. “Noah, this is Hope.”

Okay, Noah, now I am for sure in the land of pay attention. In the last 24 hours, my path has crossed with Destiny, Faith, and Hope. Perhaps Grace and Charity wait in the wings.

When I was younger and things like this happened, I would smile, scratch my head, and say, “Ah, coincidence.” But as I’ve gotten older, I’m more inclined to see others forces at play. And certainly in this moment, I am convinced that Einstein had it right, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

Every life bears the burden and the liberation of self-witnessing. So with Destiny, Faith, and Hope suddenly triangulating my life, I take the moment to bow my head and count my blessings.

I am also inclined to think that all of us are wiser for pausing in the moment and bearing witness to who is crossing our path. With awareness, there is the affirmation of a larger hand on the helm of every vessel. Some think that life is always in the Twilight Zone. I tend to think a little higher.

Noah benShea

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