I recently wrote a post about how my friend spoke to me from the grave on Facebook. I was a little scared to put it out there. I mean, seriously, it’s a little far-fetched, right?
But it happened, and in my bones I felt like it was a communication, a message, a quick shout out from the beyond.
I was comforted by the fact that so many people had similar experiences to mine and related to my story. The post was widely read and shared by both those I knew and some new readers. And no one called the looney bin on me.
Most interesting to me, however, was the introduction to the phenomena of “godwinks,” those little clues in life that remind us not to rule out significance of the spiritual. Godwinks was coined by SQuire Rushnell, a father of School House Rock and author of When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life.
While I am a deeply spiritual person, I don’t always see eye to eye with organized religion; but this theory — this idea that a higher power is all around us and intervening in our daily lives — well, I’m totally on board with that.
My life has been filled with godwinks for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, it may have been reading a book with a message I needed to hear at exactly the right moment or finding a lost piece of jewelry just when I needed it.
But as I get older, the godwinks are stronger and more in my face. For example, a few years back I hosted Christmas at my house. My husband’s family was coming and I wanted it to be perfect. Two days before Christmas, the day my in-laws arrived, the stomach flu hit the kids and I full force. Fortunately, it was short-lived and we all recovered for Christmas morning — just as it started hitting the rest of the family.
The feast I had slaved over was barely touched, the pies sat sadly on the counter. That night, as I slept on the floor in my daughters’ bedroom to hold their hair back as they wretched into pink garbage cans, my house felt like a scene from the Walking Dead. All night you heard people rushing to bathrooms and the stench of sickness just sat in the air. My sister-in-law, who brought her new boyfriend for Christmas, tried to escape early the next morning during a snow storm, only to have them both start vomiting the moment they walked through their door. It was a disaster.
We tried to make the best of it the next day as we all munched on dry toast, but on the morning of the 27th, the day of my dad’s birthday, I walked down the stairs to see my Christmas tree on its side. It had fallen over sometime in the night, and the only ornaments that broke were the two my dad had given me: a University of Florida glass ball and a Hallmark “Our First Christmas” figurine. Both were shattered and despite my husband’s best efforts were ruined.
I was devastated. My dad had passed away nearly five years before and losing any piece of him was like losing a piece of my heart. To avoid having a complete meltdown, I decided to just pack up Christmas altogether. I worked tirelessly the entire day to put away every scrap of Christmas paraphernalia, telling my in-laws that I was just trying to get a jump on it. As I loaded the last box up in the attic, I threw an old suitcase to the side. Before I laid the box down, I saw a piece of plastic sitting on the floor.
As I picked it up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was my father’s luggage tag from decades before. It was imprinted with the TWA logo (I told you it was old) and listed his office address as the Empire State Building.
I was sure that it just fell out of the suitcase, but it was so odd that it appeared at that exact moment. My mom had used the suitcase a million times, and although she told me I could give it to the Goodwill, I just couldn’t bear to part with it. It moved with my husband and I a few times, but we never used it.
As I brought the luggage tag downstairs in disbelief, I showed it to my husband. Knowing that I was so upset about losing my dad’s ornaments, he took it out of my hands and grabbed a leftover ornament wire and stuck it through the hole. It was the perfect reminder of my dad at the exact moment I needed it. It was a quintessential godwink.
According to the God Winks web site:
In times of UNCERTAINTY what we desire more than anything else is CERTAINTY. Certainty that our families are safe. Certainty that we won’t get downsized or that we’ll have enough in the checkbook to make it through the month. We crave certainty when we get a scary medical report. And we long for certainty in our relationships…To me, the best thing about godwinks is that they are TANGIBLE SIGNPOSTS along our way, giving us hope, replacing uncertainty with a genuine feeling of CERTAINTY that everything is going to be okay!
Yes, that is what godwinks are to me. Certainty that I am on the right path, certainty about my role in my family, certainty that those I have lost are still nearby.
This time of year is tough for so many people. It is a time when people feel lonely despite the crowds, when people feel overwhelmed with wants instead of grateful for what they have, when people feel uncertain in a world filled with Sandy Hooks, and hostages in Australia, and riots over racial tensions.
But it is also a time to look for godwinks — and give your own. Call the friend you’ve been meaning to because they may need to hear your voice at exactly this moment. Do something special for a stranger and you may be the godwink that changed the trajectory of his life. Look for signs of your loved ones everywhere around you, because you never know where they might show up.
You may believe that godwinks are a farce…mathematical, not mystical; coincidence, not divine. In general, I support science, proven facts, and numbers, but there is also room in my mind for God, for spirituality and karma, and most importantly, the possibility of miracles.
And who knows, this may just be a godwink for someone who needs it.
Do you believe in godwinks? Do you have any good ones to share?