Never our plan II

The Christian God has been vying for my soul a bit heavily these past few weeks.

Observe the long list of Catholic and Christian coincidences.

#1

August 6 was the day of the dinner party with people on my last bus home. The bus was so unusually full in the morning that Tony who always sit in the back ended up in the front. Next to him was Robert, a gentleman who used to ride the bus when I started. We work in the same building. Since then he had stopped taking the bus, only popping up on the bus a few times a year.

The last time he was on the bus, he asked me to pray for him as he was going in for a lung biopsy. After that few bits and pieces of news were passed around on the bus that it was cancer, but he was okay. No one on the bus had seen him until that day.

Tony, being a friendly man, went ahead and invited Robert to our cliquey little bus party after the last bus. So I gave him my card so I could call me later.

Robert didn’t make it to the party. However, he asked if I would like to be his carpool buddy the following day on the way home. Of course, I said yes.

On our ride home that day, Robert told me about his cancer and the surgery. His case was eerily similar to my mom’s. About the same size, about the same spot, but I’m not sure if it was the same type. He currently is not doing chemo, again, similar to my mom’s case.

Not wanting to scare the man, I didn’t want to tell him about my mom. But the inevitable question of “Are your parents still in Thailand?” led to “If you dad and your brothers are there, where’s your mom?” And I had to tell him.

Robert was very grateful that I shared my mom’s story with him, and he was sorry that he asked so many questions. Then he mentioned something along the line that his view of religion has changed since his surgery.

And then he mentioned that he is Catholic.

#2

After the bus party, I came home to discover that Joy’s Mom Mary’s blog was coming to life. I set her up with the blog and am staying on as administrator to guide her (and a few of her children who are helping) through the wonderful world of blogging. However, her 5 posts a day was disconcerting to me. Perhaps :Mommy” didn’t get the idea of one or two entries a day is enough. So I wrote her an email full of tips for new blogger.

“Mommy” wrote back a few days later telling me that she didn’t post the entries. Her younger daughter Jan was working on the blog as a Mother’s Day surprise present, but didn’t know that I would be monitoring the movement. “Mommy”, a devout Catholic, has told me that God must have sent me to help her because I kept popping in at all the right time.

The day after this, Robert from #1 called me for that fateful drive home.

And of course, in true fashion, I passed along Mary’s blog address to Robert.

#3

The auspicious August 8, I was at my friend Katie’s wedding. It was a Catholic one. I needn’t say more, but there was more.

When I attend a mass with Nora, during the Communion, I would always go up for a blessing. At Katie’s wedding mass, when the priest blessed me, I felt something. The religious would say I felt the Spirit. But it was like a cool breeze washes over me and I felt a little shaky.

Brandon said the blessing might be exorcising the demon out of me. After all, I did make a joke in mass. Kind of.

I misheard the lyric in Here I Am, Lord. The actual lyric is “Is it I, Lord?” but what we heard was “Is it time, Lord?”

I leaned over to Brandon and asked, “Did they just sing, Is it…Time Lord?”

What self respecting Dr. Who fan wouldn’t crack up at that!

#4

August 12 was Thai Mother’s Day. So I blogged about waking up humming Que Sera, Sera, one of my mom’s lullabies.

My brother Onk emailed me later on that as he was reading my post, his MP3 collection pulled up Que Sera, Sera! A jazzy-bossa nova version of it that he didn’t know he had.

Okay this is not a Catholic/Christian coincidence, but hey, it was a MAJOR coincidence!

We both missed mom horribly that day, by the way.

#5

That same day, we were at Sony Studios for work. There were two brief studio tours given. Me and 25 people went on the early one. Naturally, when it was announced that the second and last tour was available, the rest of the people rushed for it. They ended up having to split the big group up into 2 smaller groups.

Somewhere in there, half of the first group got lost. They tried to join the second group but the guide told them to go back to their original group. Unable to find the first tour guide, the separated came back to the party. The second group also returned to the party close to closing time.

What we didn’t know was that the first group’s guide, probably thinking the second half went to join the other tour, kept going with the tour with only a handful of people. (They actually got a better tour than the rest AND caught a glimpse of Tom Cruise!) The rest of us, having heard the story of the separated half, thought that everyone had returned to the party which was now being herded out of the premise. So we packed up.

We found the Coworker’s canvas bag but she was nowhere around. Being it a canvas bag, not a purse, we thought that she might have gone home and forgot the bag. Before we left the office, the Coworker and I swapped phone numbers. I gave her a ring, but no answer. (As we found out, the phone was on mute, naturally.)

So we loaded up Celeste’s boss’ car (for easy unloading at the office the next day) with all the stuff including the bag. We didn’t really pry and see what all else was in the bag. We just checked that there was no food container. We didn’t hear any plastic thunking and we saw the bible on top, and that was enough for us.

Celeste and I stayed behind a bit to talk and to discuss my best route home from Culver City. I was following her car around and out of the parking lot when I spotted our guests waving at Celeste. At first I thought they were waving goodbye, but they were actually yelling FOR her. (Later Celeste told me she thought they were waving goodbye as well so she waved back and continued on her way.)

I stopped and asked if something was wrong.

“A girl, your coworker I think, is missing her bag,” he said through my window.

Oh my god.

The Coworker was still on the tour. Her phone was in the bag as that bag WAS her purse! Her wallet, her keys, everything was in the bag. She would’ve been completely abandoned without the bag.

Here’s the freaky part.

Earlier that morning, I went to the flower mart with Celeste. She was driving so she couldn’t call her boss, so I called her from my cell phone. The Boss’ number otherwise wouldn’t be in my contact list.  I would’ve had to call Celeste for the Boss’ number, but she couldn’t really answer because she didn’t have a hands-free device.

I did get in touch with the Boss and to top it all off, she lives in Culver City.  She was not too far away, so she turned right around with the Coworker’s bag in minutes.

The Coworker is a very spiritual Christian.  I’m thinking God was on HER side more than mine on that one.

#6

You might have seen a seemingly angry comment on my Olympics post. Just like any other comments (with return email address), I replied personally. I told Robert I agreed on all counts why China shouldn’t have the rights to host the game. However, I support the Olympics and the original Olympics spirit, just not this year’s host.

Robert wrote me a very touching reply and apologized for his knee jerk reaction to my post. He also offered to light a candle for my mom at church and kept her in his prayer as the anniversary dawns tomorrow.

A Christian friend from the blogosphere I just made today.

*

I’m telling you. God is gunning for me. 🙂

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