Not just a coincidence; pay attention to synchronicity

When my stomach growls, that means I’m hungry.

When the water boils, that means it’s time to put the pasta in.

When the slacks I want go out of stock, that means I shouldn’t have gotten them anyway.

So why can’t that billboard or my horoscope or a penny on the pavement mean something, too?

I remember several jobs ago when my boss came to work, excited about a sign she saw on her commute posted in a church marquee: “It said, if you’re waiting for a sign from God, this is it!” My boss had been waiting for a sign, and she got it.

We humans are built to find order amidst chaos, but I choose to believe that sometimes God plants those messages in our path.

When my husband and I were renovating the church that would become our home, we looked for all kinds of signs to cheer us during the long days of demolition and waiting on contractors. I found them in the church itself.

A sign left behind on what was perhaps a Sunday School room door reminded me: “Please be patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.”

Another message painted over the inside of the entrance, to be seen by exiting parishioners and witnessed by me every time I carried another load of tools or wood upstairs or downstairs: “Go now in peace.”

A little quilted banner I found among the Christmas decorations simply said “Peace.” This was my favorite find, one I kept and still bring out at Christmastime. I brought it home, washed it gently and admired the excellent stitchery. And the appliqued bell. It had a bell! Just like the church we were renovating. “Calm down,” I heard. “Be patient.” This was difficult in the midst of the dust and frenzy and cost overruns. “Find peace,” this little sign reminded me. And there I found it: peace.

Some folks would call such messages random coincidences. But I think they’re synchronicities—intentional winks from the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful universe. Gordon Matthew Sumner, perhaps better known as Sting, called it “spiritus mundi” in The Police’s Synchronicity; spiritus mundi is Latin for “world spirit.” “A star fall/a phone call/it joins all/synchronity,” he wrote. The same Creator who came up neurotransmitters and the function of our highly complex eyes and simple but miraculous living-giving water can also send us puny human beings messages we need to hear.

These messages may be the answer to prayer, perhaps even unvoiced, unconscious prayers. God always answers. Are you listening?


If you’re interested in cultivating a conscious conversation with God, subscribe to Bell Tower Prayer’s daily prayer. For 2 cents a day, I’ll send a prayer to your In Box every morning. When you run across the message, heed its call: stop doom-scrolling and spend a minute basking in the Divine’s attention. Subscribe here.

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