London boundFrom time to time, you bump into someone totally unexpectedly, in a most unlikely place. You would swear it couldn’t happen — except that it does, often enough that the surprise, ironically, isn’t really a surprise.

Tuesday evening I flew from Boston to London, the first leg of a quick trip to Sweden. Coincidentally, my former minister was on the same flight, off to see her son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids in Vienna. Earlier in the day I had seen her Facebook posting, noting that she was packing for the trip, and thought “Wouldn’t it be a coincidence if we were on the same plane.”

I last saw Laurel at her wedding last September. That was a joyous event, yet not conducive to conversation. The last time we had the opportunity to catch up with one another was by phone a year or two before the wedding, and it was a few years before that when we actually saw each other in person.

So the few minutes we had in Boston before boarding and the few minutes walking the long halls at Heathrow, then clearing security, were a gift, time enough to share the important themes in our lives. The conversation seemed to pick up right where we left off, seemingly just last week.

As we separated in the transit hall, she bound for Vienna, me for Goteborg, I marveled at the blessed coincidence. The threads of our lives seem to weave a rich tapestry that transcends time and distance. Thankfully.

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