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Providence or Happenstance? 4 September 2014

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Ponderings, University.
Tags: , ,

Friends, readers and twitterati may already know this, but one of the side effects of the new school year is that I will need to be up and ready to leave a little earlier in the morning. Not that I need to be per se, more I need to ensure that LM makes it to school on time, even if said school is less than five minutes walk from home! Indeed, earlier to Uni is not good news, as it makes for a longer day if I am to be available and active when people are actually around and likely to want the Chaplaincy Nevertheless, a chance encounter with Father Antony, the Parish priest, and his new curate, a few weeks ago helped me to finally discover that yes, there was a regular Morning Prayer down at church, 8.30am most days, and that I’d be welcome (even if the liturgy is Roman!)

So this morning, even though LM doesn’t return to school until tomorrow (that’s Academies for you) I thought I’d give it a go and walked all of 5 or 6 minutes to church. Of course, there was a problem. It is a big church, with many points of access, three of the large, imposing door variety, a fire exit and a door to the church rooms. How do I know? Because I tried them, all. Big church, one or two within to pray, it makes sense to lock doors after you. I knew someone was in there, both by there being a light on, and, as I pondered the question of which door to beat down, the Angelus was rung! Nevertheless the dread portals were fastened against the world.

Touched by the irony I walked to the nearest bus stop, tweeting along the way “Just as well Holy Spirit not locked in Church too!”

And there I stood, not at my usual bus stop, watching the world and waiting, as school children and parents passed, including one or two for LM’s school, which is not open today! I’ll be getting on alone I thought, which was the cue for another to appear, with the attitude of a well-prepared student, albeit slightly older than some. As she put her flask in her bag I found myself commenting on how she appeared ready for the day, and was pleasantly answered by a transatlantic twang. I now know we have Canadian students here, doing Occupational Therapy, and building on work experience. She (and her cohort) now know about the Chaplaincy, especially the microwave (much sought after, I understand) and the free drinks. I also now know that she has joined the Evangelical Free Church near to the Uni and been made to feel very welcome. I don’t know her name (nor need to)… and I don’t know why I initiated the conversation in the first place, as it’s not my usual way.

Providence? Happenstance? Coincidence? I don’t know, but a good way to start the day whichever way you look at it.



1. BenDQ - 4 September 2014

Great story to start the day with. Reminds me of a discussion I once had with my son when he was little enough to be carried around. We were out for a walk and he asked me where God is. ‘Everywhere’, came back my answer. He retorted quickly with the answer that has stuck with me and challenged me ever since, ‘Is he on that bus?’

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