Ramblings from the Cove...

January 16, 2014

By Lars Gren

It was the third day after the day that the predictors had caused the mayor of Gloucester to speak to the general populace to warn them that the parking ban was on due to the threat of the approaching winter storm. Not that it would be heavy in inches but that we would have the joy of rain, sleet, snow and some mix of all. The forecast was correct, for when I got up Sunday morning, I looked out the window at more inches of white than predicted. No big deal -- I’ll take the snow blower and make fast work of it. Really? It was Wednesday before we made our first trip out. It was not the matter of clearing the drive for Christi joined me as we “manned” the shovels but the combination of what came down with 10 degrees or so produced a good two inch bottom layer of sheer ice rendering the snow blower useless. The next couple of days the sun peeked out so that between “the three” of us we could make our way up the Cove incline and on to the main road with the car.

I suggested to Christi that it might be a good idea to go to the Market Basket—not that we couldn’t go for a week without grocery shopping—since we were out of a few things. When we approached, I noticed that we were not going to be the only two pushing a shopping cart. Christi saw a parking place and began a turn when I said, “Wait, go straight -- the first space is opening.” With the bitter wind, I didn’t cherish a longer walk than necessary. She pulled in there and as we got out there was a man walking towards the store but he stopped and waited a bit and said. “I see you are from Oregon. I used to live there.” Christi responded and said she lived in Portland. There followed the usual small talk of why she was on this side of the country as a caregiver for Elisabeth while also finishing up an EMT course. He had moved some years ago for the eastern side of Oregon and was in business here in Gloucester. As we talked we walked along towards the door when I said something to the effect that it was nice to meet and wished him blessings for Christmas. His response was unusual, “Yes, life is good.”

He and Christi got a cart each and it happened that as we turned he said, “Yes I’m a cancer survivor---four times.” “The Lord has been good to you” I replied. “Yes, life is good.” With that we headed up a double aisle going at different speeds but the three of us met again at the at the Hebrew National beef frank cooler where he said to me, “Then you’re from this area.” “Not really but I’ve been here for near forty years.” “Oh, what made you move here?” I mentioned that I had attended Gordon Conwell Seminary and how I had met and married Elisabeth and gave a few points of her being a missionary, widowed and then followed her writing and speaking and what we did together.

He said that he was very interested in the story and gave me his card. Then I mentioned that he could get some information from the web site. It also happens that I get booklets of John’s Gospel from the Pocket Testament League and had one with me and asked if he had ever read it? “No, I have not.” I took mine out and asked if I might give it to him and showed him John 20:21 as to why John was writing it. He thanked me and would read it.

We bid good-bye and went about our shopping but I was awed with the timing of our meeting. If we had parked in the first available spot nothing else that followed would have taken place. Further had there been delays on the road or any other change whatsoever, this bit of three lives intersecting each other would not have taken place. It is strange but perhaps every meeting new or old is a divine appointment. Had I viewed previous ‘chance meetings’ in such a way what interesting memories might I have had.

God bless y’all and that’s it from The Cove.

Lars & Elisabeth

(For those who are interested in the weather—other than where you live — the snow mentioned above was not the main one. That hit right after New Years and left about 15 inches or so all while we were celebrating the Season with Dani in Ohio. Our timing was impeccable returning to a snow free driveway with many thanks to a friend.)

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