Today is my day off. So naturally, my plans for the day included things like fixing a lock on the back door and a number of other minor maintenance tasks around the house. So it was with some suprise that walking back from the hardware store this morning, I came across a woman I knew walking the other way dripping blood along the street from the newly opened slashes across her forearms. An hour later after the ambulance had taken her away, and I had finished cleaning as much blood from the ground as I could, I headed for home and my scheduled tasks.
Some might well suggest (including the woman in question) that perhaps God put me in her path today. I'm not sure what kind of reaction she might have received from others who didn't know her on the street. Personally, I don't think of God as the great manipulator of such situations, but I have to admit that I have experienced a number of unusual coincidences like this that prompt legitimate questioning. If I had been a minute later or gone home the same way that I walked up the street then I would have missed her. At the same time, if I'd been 10 minutes earlier perhaps the whole situation might have been avoided.
If nothing else, I have been reminded that our plans must never stand in the way of compassionate response to someone in need.