“More than a Co-incidence”

I have quite a few posts on my mind, but I just thought that this small story might cause a chorus of unspoken and virtual “hallelujahs”… but it doesn’t start so great.

Two nights ago, while emailing, my Macbook Pro whirred to silence, and the screen went black.

Now, this is not a good turn of events for a PhD student of any sort, but my type, precariously perched between two continents, with words strung up like fairy lights in virtual post-it-notes and documents, well, made it devastating to say the least.

But I felt this incredible calm. It was weird.

Given as I am to a phenomenological analysis of my own self, I thought “you strange Pentecostal fruitcake” and proceeded to systematically deal with the problem at hand. Which was, of course, overdue papers and unread manuscripts, outstanding emails and now lost to-do lists. The pieces that were all kept by my reliable little computer were still mine to take responsibility for, although it was not responding. So, I admitted to my husband what had happened, and tearfully refuted allegations that I had mistreated the laptop…

But of course, being the most amazing and helpful husband that he is, he proceeded to run an analysis and decided that the problem may be my hard-drive. And he gave me on his laptop, leaving me scrambling through my carbonite online retrieval system, while he sourced a replacement hard-drive.

The surgery was done on our kitchen bench, while I nervously waited in the next room. I had half-finished prayers … “God… need… computer” was about how it translated. So much for the eloquent PhD candidate.

The verdict was pronounced. There were still problems, it was not the hard-drive. I was pretty sure that I was going to self-combust, that my atoms would float away from each other and lose their coherency, that I would disappear. I didn’t.

And then, Tim yelled “Honey, I think the problem is your ribbon”.

He proceeded to tell me that the ribbon was crinkled. This sounded to me like another craft project gone wrong. Not a sure thing, but a possible cause. We discussed at length the way forward. We could put the computer into an Apple store, and wait weeks for a repair, if one could be done. (having done this twice in California we knew the process intimately) Or, we could replace the ribbon.

The next bit of the story is utterly amazing …

So Tim rang a generic store in the CBD of Sydney, requesting if they had a ribbon he could purchase. The owner of the store didn’t, but he responded that he noticed on Tim’s email that he worked for a not-for-profit.

Tim, surprised, said yes, that he indeed did. (Tim works mentoring youth-at-risk, many of which are homeless).

The owner said that he didn’t usually do this, but we could borrow a ribbon, so that we could check if this was the part that was causing the trouble with my computer. He was sorry he didn’t have any in stock but he would later that week, if it proved to be the issue.

Tim thanked him profusely, and turned up today to pick up the ribbon. When he got there, he noted the shop was in front of a bus stop. At the bus-stop, was this sign:
Streetwork Poster

It was an advertisement for Tim’s not-for-profit. Ryan was a client of Streetwork. Although Tim (the manager) had signed off on the poster designs, this campaign rolled out this week without him knowing where the posters were.

So, Tim brought home the ribbon and put it in my computer, and it turned on fine. And so I am able to post this story. Except, I have a better hard-drive now so things are running faster.

As my friend and pastor Chrishan said today, things in our life often seem “more than a coincidence”.

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