Coincidence or Hand of God?

God enters our lives often and in many ways, but usually in the disguise of a coincidence.  We are often left wondering whether a special event in our life was from God or whether it was the result of chance.  Such an event provides the grist for an endless debate between a theist and an atheist.

I submit that the following experience I had was from God.  The circumstance all point in that direction.  Chance can explain only so much.

A lady friend invited my wife and I to spent a few days in Nova Scotia to enjoy her hospitality, and the beauty and seafood of this charming island.  It was appropriate, of course, to bring a gift.  But selecting the proper gift posed  problem.  The fact that our friend was single and attractive required a gift that would not raise my wife’s eyebrows.  At that time, we were in a gift shop in old Cape Cod.  Gifts of all kinds were there and in abundance.  It was a purchaser’s paradise.  My eyes fell upon a music box decorated with a blue bird.  Our friend’s favorite color is blue and she is a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays.  This looks like the perfect gift, I thought, until I opened the box and listened to the music.  It was “True Love,” the song Bing Crosby crooned to Grace Kelly in the 1956 movie, “High Society”.  Too bad, I thought, this was nearly the perfect gift.  The music box would be more appropriate for my wife.

Before I abandoned this potential gift altogether, I decided to ask God for a sign.  The store radio was piping music to its customers.  The next song that could now be heard was none other than “True Love”.  What are the chances?  Of all the thousands of songs, why, this one? 

And if God wanted to give me an additional nudge, the sales lady walked toward us humming that captivating melody.  That did it.  I bought the music box and it did,indeed, turn out to be the perfect, or at least the perfectly welcomed gift.  And it was co-signed by God.

If I have faith in God, I should also be obedient to His Word.  God’ wisdom easily triumphs over my own doubts. 

The synchrony of so many elements ruled out a chance coincidence.  Of all the thousands of songs, why was this one song played on the radio precisely at the moment I had prayed for a sign?  It could not have been a matter of chance that I was in the right store at the right time picking out the right gift that perfectly corresponded with the “sign” I requested from God.  It was not a coincidence, but a “Godincidence”.

In addition to the synchrony of several elements, is my experience’s personal significance.  The elements came together for a personal reason.  It fulfilled my desire for the appropriate gift and it gladdened the heart of the recipient, both with the happy approval, of my wife.

Being open to signs from God is like having access to an extra set of eyes.  Saints were constantly on the lookout for such signs.  And they took full advantage of them when they appeared.  Our own vision is severely limited.  We are always in need of help.  What might seem to us to be a dead end, can be an opening to a new world.  God is not remote.  He is a co-passenger.  And He has the map.

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Dr. Donald DeMarco is Professor Emeritus, St. Jerome’s University and Adjunct Professor at Holy Apostles College. He is is the author of 42 books and a former corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of Life.  Some of his latest books, The 12 Supporting Pillars of the Culture of Life and Why They Are Crumbling, and Glimmers of Hope in a Darkening World, Restoring Philosophy and Returning to Common Sense and Let Us not Despair are posted on He and his wife, Mary, have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.  

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