Was it Really Him?

Sometimes I get frustrated with God. I don't have too much to be angry about in my personal life these days but I see news reports of missing and exploited children, violence, ignorance and oppression that leave me longing for some earth-shattering miracles. C'mon God show us something! Intellectually I understand the process but emotionally I feel abandoned. Does He really protect us and intervene on our behalf or is He more like a coach standing on the sidelines reprimanding, motivating and consoling?

About six or seven years ago I found myself in Montreal with little money, no place to stay and nothing to eat. I consider myself somewhat adventurous so I put on a brave face and hopped on the subway to do some exploring. I had been trying all day to get in contact with a friend who lived in the city and decided that if I didn't get a hold of her by midnight I would find my way to a train or bus station where there were bright lights and sleepy travelers.

It was getting late and I didn't know it but my subway was making the final trip of the evening -to a sketchy area on the outskirts of the city. I sat, oblivious to what was happening when a guy at the other end of the car moved up and sat across from me. He said something like, "Um, I know this may sound really weird and I've never done this before but I was wondering if you'd like to go see a movie or something..." He looked shy and embarrassed. Maybe it was his honest face or my general loneliness but I said I would join him for a cup of coffee. We got off at the next stop and chatted as we walked to the cafe. He was a student, had grown up in Montreal and his parents were from South Korea. I trusted him. I told him my predicament and he offered me a place to stay for the night. His apartment had loads of spiritual books, a friendly cat and comfy couch. In the morning he let me use his shower, cooked up a delicious Korean dish and helped me get in touch with my friend. He continually repeated how strange it was that he had come up to talk to me -that in all his life he had never approached a stranger on the subway. We spoke about how fortunate I was not to end up at the end of the line that night.

Now I don't know if that was coincidence or divine intervention but it was damn lucky -that's for sure. When I start to feel alone in the world I meditate on that experience and wonder how many times I was heading for the end of the line and didn't even know it!

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