Originally posted: April 28, 2014
As I thought about how I wanted to begin this blog (a reincarnation of my previous one - but that's a story for another day), I tried to come up with something Important (with a capital I).
After many false starts, I realized that sometimes the important things in life are really the small things. This lead me to recall a book I heard about from a friend and an experience I had while out browsing at the local garden shop on Saturday.
My friend had recently been telling me about a book she read by SQuire Rushnell, "When God Winks". I haven't read it myself, but from her synopsis, I gather that the author suggests that the little coincidences in life aren't coincidence at all, but are rather a "God wink", as in God giving you a little sign that He's with you and thinking of you. Just kind of a way to make His presence known in a very personal way. A bit like how my father still gives my shoulder a little squeeze when I pass him in the hall and says "Hey Kiddo!" just as he has for the past 50+ years. It's a lovely idea this "wink" business, and I do believe that it can definitely be true...sometimes. I also believe in coincidence, however. That is until I experienced a "God wink" on Saturday, and now I'm reconsidering.
I have been particularly stressed of late and Saturday afternoon I needed a break - any break - to just regroup for a bit.
About a mile from my house is a little garden center that I have always enjoyed visiting. Outside are various bushes, flowers and trees on display, but inside the little dumpy-looking wooden building (glorified potting shed?) a magical wonderland awaits! Tiny rooms and enclaves are waiting to be discovered, each decorated from floor to ceiling in a whimsical holiday theme. Christmas dominates here, but there are also cubby holes filled with branches, autumn leaves, pumpkin-scented candles. A bit of Halloween in this corner. Spring flowers with gazing balls and fairy gardens in that corner. And everywhere...magic!
The old wooden floor creaks and groans with each step. The air seems to be permanently scented with a mixture of vanilla, pine, ancient wood and cinnamon. And everywhere, in every little room packed with holiday delights, it sparkles. It gleams! A bit of glitter...twinkly lights...shining glass...candle light. There are so many treasures to discover hidden among tree branches, under a flower petal, tucked behind a candle.
Typically it is somewhere I only go at Christmastime, a tradition that began when my adult son was just a little boy. Behind the little cottage, Santa and his reindeer were always waiting each December to grant a small boy's dreams.
As I walked through the door on Saturday and began the process of decompressing and leaving the "real" world behind and allowing myself to enter into this wonderland for just a little while, I noticed music playing in the background. Not unusual, really. They typically play Christmas music. As I moved further away from the outside door and deeper into this mystical realm, I began to be able to relax, forget the dirty house and stack of unpaid bills at home, and as I did, I was able to focus in on the music.
OH. MY. GOODNESS!
They were playing Camelot with Richard Harris, one of my absolute all time favorite plays. I've seen it more times than I can count, seen the movie dozens of times and have the musical score all but memorized. I was utterly enraptured! The perfect musical accompaniment as a stressed and weary middle-aged woman shrugged off the outside world for a bit and entered, well...Camelot.
The place was devoid of customers as it usually is inside at this time of year. The shop staff probably thought I was quite mad as I sang along with the soundtrack OUT LOUD, not caring who heard me, eyes glittering with joy and wonderment as I allowed myself to get lost in their beautiful fantasy world.
After going through each room at least twice and inspecting every nook and cranny with childlike glee, I knew it was time to gather myself together, let the spell lift, and leave. As I did, it suddenly occurred to me...GOD WINKED! He DID! He looked at his daughter, knowing she needed a mental escape, and arranged for her favorite escapist music to begin playing at the very beginning of the soundtrack when she walked through the door of the shop. Yes. I know in my heart of hearts that He thought of me. How long did He have this planned? Did He put the idea in someone's head to purchase that CD for the shop just so that I could hear it on the day I needed it? No, I'm not full of self importance. I simply know what a magnificent Father I have and that He showers me with Grace and Mercy. He makes certain that I don't get what I deserve, but rather that I receive wonders that I have not earned and never could.
Sigh. I received a God wink. And I'm still smiling from it.
"I wonder what the King is doing tonight?
What merriment is the King pursing tonight?
The candles at the court, they never burned as bright.
I wonder what the King is up to tonight?"
Yes, indeed. I wonder. ;)