Friday, May 16, 2014

Coincidence and Providence in the Created Word

Have you ever thought about coincidence versus providence in what you write? In what you read?

A few days ago we were in San Diego County on a wonderful seaside vacation. Only the week before, the area had experienced temps in the nineties, and no sooner had we arrived home than the people and homes in that very area were being threatened by dangerous wildfires. Our idyllic getaway was, gratefully, sandwiched between hot and hotter, but we had no idea that would be the case when we made our plans.

We could have easily scheduled the trip for a week earlier or later, but we randomly chose a time that yielded a near-perfect vacation. Did we simply get lucky with a happy alignment? Or did God prompt us to plan our trip for a time that would grant us this blessing?

In other words, was it coincidence, providence—or neither?  And how does that question for all the experiences of life play out in the created word?

As a reader, even of fiction, do you ever think what you are reading mistakes providence for coincidence, or vice versa? If so, how does that affect your enjoyment of the book, if at all?

As a writer, are you specifically aware of how you portray providence versus coincidence in your writing? How does that affect your work?

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