Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mere Coincidence, or Hand of God?

Okay, God really does seem to work in weird, mysterious, and wonderful ways!

Last Saturday, I received an e-mail message with the subject line “Did you attend Havelock High School?” In the brief message, Annette, the sender, introduced herself (including maiden name) and noted that she went to school with a Mike Fincher, who moved away after the sophomore year (1978). She then asked if I was that Mike.

While the name sounded vaguely familiar, I was a little puzzled by the fact that the e-mail was sent to the account associated with my blog. I figured that she was Googling the names of former classmates and under my name found my blog.

I sent back a response that I was indeed the Mike Fincher who attended Havelock High, and left at the end of sophomore year to move to California. I noted that while her name sounded very familiar, I really couldn’t place it. I went on to note that, unfortunately, I no longer have my Havelock High yearbook, so I was not able to look up a picture to jog my memory.

Back story. Last August I finally decided to get clean out the storage unit that had serves as the repository for most of my worldly possessions while I was in seminary. After three years of seminary and another year of living in LA, I decided I no longer needed, nor missed, most of the things in the storage unit. I called Salvation Army and they came and took away most of the stuff (some things I did move to the shed in my parents’ back yard). That evening, I realized that I had inadvertently gotten rid of one or more boxes of things I actually wanted to keep. I had packed the stuff up over a year before and had not remembered what was in the box(es). When I did a quick check on the clean-out day, nothing jumped out at me as being worth saving. If I had dug a little deeper in the box(es), I would have discovered that there were indeed treasures I wanted to keep. Among the items I determined to be missing were some novels, a few photo albums, and my high school yearbooks.

Back to the present. Yesterday I received a follow-up e-mail from Annette. She said she and I didn’t know each other at Havelock High, but I knew her brother and her brother’s (now) sister-in-law. She went on to explain that she was recently on a nostalgia trip about high school but could not find her yearbook. So, she Googled “Havelock High yearbooks.” E-Bay happened to have a 1978 Rampage (the name of the Havelock High yearbook), so she bought it. It turned out to be my copy. Apparently, through more Googling (what did we do before Google came along?) she found me.

In her response, Annette wrote, “I do not believe in coincidences...I believe in God Almighty and that He always has a reason for doing things. Needless to say, I am now wondering what His plans are. I know one thing...it has to do with you and your yearbook. I would like to offer to send it to you or maybe my husband, David and I could meet you for dinner sometime and we could exchange it that way.”

Of course, I responded back, amazed at the way things are turning out. In her return response this morning, Annette told me that she lives in Buena Park! It’s amazing to me that a treasure from my past, carried for 30 years, from North Carolina to California to Illinois and back to California, only to be lost in act of stupidity on my part, was found by a classmate from North Carolina who now lives less than an hour away. Mere coincidence, or hand of God?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hand of God