"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." - Albert Einstein
This week, I stumbled upon a book left lying around the house by my second-born, and soon fell fast and deep into the story.
During a time of frustration and pain in her own life, a teenage girl loses her dearly beloved uncle. As she grieves, she must come to terms with the new knowledge that her uncle was gay, and died from AIDS. Making peace with his lover is a critical step as she rebuilds relationships with her family.
[Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt]
During a season of stalled growth in his own life, a thirty-something man loses his dearly beloved father. As he grieves, he must come to terms with the fact that four years before his death, at age 75, his father came out as a life-long gay, and died with his new lover at his side. Making peace with his father's partner is a critical step as he works to establish a relationship with a new woman in his life.
[Beginners written and directed by Mike Mills]
* * * * *
Well. Cue the thunder bolts, electrical jolts and epic floods.
Because I can see that these plot lines share more than a passing similarity.
And the emotions that I felt as each story unwound
my fondness for the main characters,
my sympathetic pain and confusion for their struggles,
my shifty discomfort that the endings left things far from truly resolved,
were spot-on the same. I feel as if I'd strapped into two seemingly unrelated roller coasters and ended up taking the exact same ride
God often lays for me a trail of bread crumbs like this one. I know without a doubt that I'm supposed to pay attention and learn something from this pair of matching stories, this highly specific coincidence.
But I haven't figured out yet what that might be.
I have no severely ill or recently deceased male relatives.
I'm seriously lacking in father figures altogether.
No recently outed gays in my life.
Ditto that on any loved ones' partners whom I might be challenged to love and accept.
So, without any obvious parallels in my life, I have a bit of a mystery on my hands.
In the next few days, I'll be mulling over this puzzle.
I'll go back to each story, rereading passages and rewatching key scenes.
I'll daydream about each story makes me feel and what buttons each one pushes within me.
And I'll probably end up asking God to make his point a bit more clear. Sometimes I need extra help to catch on.
But one thing I know for sure: whenever I experience a coincidence like this one, the real truth is that it is no coincidence at all.