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FROM ACCIDENTS TO A ONE-YEAR-OLD'S ART, WE PONDER WHAT THE WORLD CALLS 'COINCIDENCE'
The other day, a supermarket called Publix in Palm Coast, Florida (part of a huge chain), made news when a woman crashed through its front exit door in a car that accelerated without explanation (as yet) from the parking lot at fifty miles an hour. Ten people were injured, two seriously. A helicopter had to airlift one 83-year-old man who was trapped when the car entered the store right up past the express cashier and to the potato-chips aisle. Just days before, a wildfire erupted within a stone's throw of the store, threatening the local Catholic church. Two weeks before that, a small airplane crashed into another Publix supermarket in the town of Deland, which is 37 miles to the south. (It's still not open).
Is something going on -- in cases like this? Is it something about the neighborhood? Or is it just luck of the draw (Publix has hundreds of locations).
Perhaps the latter. But it frequently causes one to wonder. So often we encounter (and try to discern) such things, for coincidence can be a sign -- whether events in our lives or in society or in what we read (sometimes, things just jump off the pages at you) or, indeed, in photographs. [See left and right, the lighting effects at a replica of the Church of Ephesus in Buenos Aires, Argentina.]
As for artistic evidences, see below right for what one could take as the Virgin Mary praying on an Easter egg that was decorated by a one-year-old girl named Yadiya Knight and sent to us by her mother -- who lives in Plant City, Florida.
"She painted this egg while sitting in her highchair at the table with her mommy Aisha Knight and her cousins Jj and Indiyah Ruth on Saturday, April 7, 2012 (the day before the resurrection of Jesus Christ)," says her mother. "She is a truly special child -- a real gift. Everyone says that. She can't say many words, but when we asked what it was, she said, 'Virgin.'"
Maybe accidents like the crash at Publix are coincidental but we know that nothing is out of Heaven's orchestration and expect we'll be amazed when we die to see the many ways "disjointed" matters of life actually interwove with each other. We will also probably learn how many times we could have been harmed but for angels nudging us to leave our homes at a slightly different time or not go to a certain place or whatever. Who knows how many times we all could have been harmed -- in an accident or otherwise -- but for subtle, unrecognized intervention?
Which brings us back to the Publix in Palm Coast.
One man escaped potential harm when -- at the last moment -- he decided to get something else at the store. As the local paper reported:
"Keith Goldstein was about to check out in the express lane at Publix but wanted to grab some ground beef from the meat department. The change in plans may have saved him. Seconds later -- at 1:24 on a routine Saturday afternoon -- a loud explosion of shattered glass rocked the supermarket as a car plowed through the exit doors before crashing into walls and checkout lanes and injuring 10 Palm Coast residents, including an 83-year-old man who was pinned underneath the vehicle. A shopper was hurled into a flower arrangement, two women were pinned by the car to a potato chip stand and a shopping cart with a baby seat and the child still inside was thrown across the store and came to a stop still upright, according to witnesses."
If that's not enough, let's also hear this:
Alex Desantoli, 16, had taken the day off work so she could receive confirmation in the Catholic church.
"She said normally her duties are cashiering and bagging groceries, which would have put her in the vehicle's path.
"'I guess God didn't want me in there today,' she said as she watched cleanup efforts. 'I just can't believe it happened.'"
[Our thanks to Erin Von Uffel and Kay Cruise for the Buenos Aires shots]
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