Some of what we learn after a lot of livin'.
Here's the story which I believe illustrates my reasons for believing the way I've come to believe.
In the fall of 2003, as I was doing some of the final touches on a 6 month renovation - during which time we'd been evacuated for a forest fire, had to bury my much loved father and have the reno go completely over budget for time and money - at the end of that I managed to tangle my left hand in the table saw and did my best to remove all 4 fingers.
Since I didn't completely remove them, I went for surgery and subsequently in the fullness of time needed to go for physio therapy.
One of the basic tenets I've come to live by is to be very intentional in communicating who I am and what I believe as quickly as polite conversation allows. I've found life is easier for all parties if this is accomplished, so in short order my physio lady knew I was a married father who worked with horses and hunted.
As an aside wabigoon, I've had a few folks comment that I look "exactly like that" - sometimes when it's not meant as a compliment!
Upon entering the room then I dropped my cowboy hat on the chair on top of my Carhartt jacket and sat down, making the aforementioned introductions as she worked on my hand.
While I can't recall exactly what we talked about, I felt she asked a fair number of questions of me while being fairly thrifty about her information, but I felt that was her prerogative and carried on.
During the second visit, partially through the hour long session as we chatted, she stopped and looked me in the eye and said the following...
"I grew up in an atheistic family who were also devout vegans. When I became a physiotherapist, I went to the US to finish my training and there met my husband who is a devout Christian."
She continued, "I converted to Christianity and he became a vegetarian for me, as well as moving up here to Canada with me. We had a little boy who is now 2 (I believe that was the age - sorry) and we have been praying asking God for specific answers to some parenting questions. We've had our care group praying for us as well."
At this point wabigoon she looked me in the eyes, not super happy at all and she continued, "When you came in the other day you answered one of those questions and I didn't say anything at the time"..
I muttered something about, "God does work in mysterious ways I guess..." and she cut me off..
"No you don't get it!" she was now raising her voice, but she had a hold of my hand so I wasn't going anywhere, you know?
"I went home from work and told my husband, not that little cowboy! God can't send that little cowboy after praying all this time! He stands for everything I hate"
For once in my life I was speechless wabigoon. I looked into her eyes praying fervently for wisdom, as that's a bit of a tough position to comment intelligently from if you know where I'm coming from.
Her eyes narrowed and she then said, "Since you've been here today you've answered two more, so I guess you're it and I'm still not really happy with God about it."
You have to understand wabigoon that from that time until the last physio session, I began the session with at least 5 minutes of prayer asking God for wisdom because this rough around the edges, part time cowboy didn't feel like I had much to share....
In the final analysis then wabigoon and in all honestly, I really didn't learn a whole lot when I stuck my hand in the saw. I'd still get impatient and do stupid things with power tools and equipment, though I'd been learning to control my temper with the horses by then - another story for another day.
But that all said, I've come to believe it was about her, her husband and their son. In that case all things did work together for good or hopefully I can be forgiven for believing that to be true.
Lastly I'd think that if we'd have gone to the same church - which we were several towns apart so wouldn't have happened, she wouldn't have approached a guy with a mountain sheep belt buckle and buckaroo style cowboy boots on you know?
They're Boulett by the way which is the brand of choice I believe for Sam Olson - a stylish rancher if ever there was one.
All the best to you folks wabigoon.