I was reading a book (Catch the Light by Joy Harjo) and came to a paragraph that captured my imagination.
During the writing of one of my poems, I discovered Saint Coincidence, a saint who presides over incidents that appear to be coincidence. Such incidents can appear to be miraculous, marked by perfect timing. I did not know of a Saint Coincidence until I traveled into a creative space, made by breath, quiet, and attention. And there he stood, Saint Coincidence, a kind of lackadaisical saint who was not killed by swords or tortured for his beliefs. He won his sainthood by coincidence. But that’s another story that I do not have in this book on writing. I will need writing to get to it. In that story are perfectly petaled roses appearing in snow, a lost orphan, and an unclimbable mountain.
Since I wrote in my ordination paper that my life had been filled with coincidences that I believed were ways God connected with me, I smiled when I read that paragraph. Yes, I did Google “Saint Coincidence” just in case there was more to this illusion than creative writing. I actually found a suggestion: Saint Coincidata, a “helper” of St. Anthony protecting travelers and allowing them to be at the right place at the right time to either find their way or to see a celebrity. Reading that article was a bit more creative writing.
There is no such special designee, but there are coincidences, many of which of God-inspired. One article called coincidences “God-incidences”. When I wrote my ordination paper, I said coincidences in my life had been examples of “God Is Still Speaking”. For me they have been blessings, for it was through a series of “coincidences” – truly unlikely occurrences – that I am what I am now, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
I believe the Holy Spirit leads us in many different ways. It really isn’t Saint Coincidence. It is the Spirit putting us in the right spot at the right time so that we can hear God speaking to us, leading us in the path of faith. If a “kind of lackadaisical saint” is helpful to you to be open to the Spirit’s leading, go for it. Let your imagination wander so that you when you encounter a coincidence you can say thank you “Saint Coincidence” and be attentive to God’s touch.