December 4, 2016
I left work early on December 2nd and went to a nearby shopping centre. My wife’s birthday was the next day, and my mother-in-law’s was two days after that, so I went to buy birthday cards for them.
On my way out of the mall, birthday cards in tow, I was drawn into a gift shop I had been to before. “Maybe I’ll poke around” I told myself, though really I just felt ‘pulled in’, like I say. I immediately noticed a young woman behind the counter but she was hard to miss with her bright, dyed red hair and mascara. I was arrested by the idea that I was supposed to connect with her in some way. I didn’t know why, and this had never happened to me before. I realised the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me something.
I had had words come to me before, but never in direct relation to someone standing right in front of me. A couple of weeks prior I had had the word “charism” jump into my mind from out of nowhere when I was heading out the door for work. I had no idea what it meant. So I looked it up and it means a God-given gift or talent that is used to benefit the Church and through it all people. One of the charisms are “words of knowledge”; words that come to a person and that speak a certain knowledge about others, in order to help others grow in their faith and to help them on their personal journey.
So there I was, standing in this gift shop, feeling that the Holy Spirit was trying to get me to connect with this other person, who stood beside her manager behind the counter. Then all of a sudden the word ‘perseverance’ came to my mind. I could see it written in big cursive red letters. It all happened so fast. I thought “Oh no, I am so tired and it’s the end of the day. Spirit, please, I’m not sure I want to do this. I have never done this before. This will be so embarrassing if it doesn’t work out, or if it’s all just in my head.” And I thought to myself maybe it’s nothing. I left the store in a rush and started towards the parking lot back to my car. But then I thought “Oh no, let’s just do this. If this is Spirit, then what am I doing walking away from Him! She doesn’t know me, I don’t know her, and her manager doesn’t know me, so what is there to lose. I may never see them again.”
So I walked back under cover of pretending I wanted to keep on browsing. But then I introduced myself to her and I said “I just have to tell you this. When I first saw you the word ‘perseverance’ came to my mind and I felt like I had to tell you.” That was when her face dropped. She said: “Oh my God, are you some kind of medium?” I said “No, I’m not! I’m a lawyer. I work up the street.” That’s when she said: “I literally just drove to this city all the way from Alberta (an approximately 3,000 km, 34 hour drive) and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong.” And then her manager, who was also stunned, spoke up. She said: “Plus her car broke down and we were wondering if she would ever make it here to work for us.” And then the employee said: “I wanted to turn back a hundred times but I persevered.” I said to her: “That is incredible. Keep persevering.” She said: “Actually my life right now is very difficult and my living arrangement are like very shitty.” I said “Keep persevering.” She said again: “Are you a medium?” I said “no, I’m a lawyer! and gave her my business card.” But, I thought, “this is my opening.” I said “I want to be respectful of everyone’s views, looking at both her and her manager, “but my background is in the Christian faith and if I had to guess I would say it is the Holy Spirit moving me to tell you this.” She then told me that “I have my Norse gods and I pray to them, but I support all religions.” She was very kind and the type of young person who is finding herself. When I got back to my car, I thought Christ Jesus is reaching out to her. When I got back into my car, it was 4:55. Another pair (see my other posts on numbers). And when I drove home I drove behind only license plates that had pairs in them!
Next day was my wife’s birthday, and I had to pick up a cake from the same shopping centre. So I went back. I decided to drop off a medallion that had the Sacred Heart of Jesus on one side, and Mary on the other, to the girl I’d met. I was nervous because I wanted to remain respectful, but I felt pushed to do it, in the same way I had before. When I arrived at the store she wasn’t there, so I left it with her manager. She smiled and laughed kindly. I said “my only message is that she keeps an open mind.”
On my way back home, I drove behind license plate ARLD 888. I thought, my God is this for real? I couldn’t help but see “Our Lord 888”.
That night, my wife and I went out to meet some friends at a small restaurant called Roberto’s in Little Italy to celebrate her birthday. As I made my way up the front steps of the restaurant, I noticed a brown scapular on the stairs. A brown scapular is a necklace worn by those who pray to the Virgin Mary for protection, as I do, and who are brought closer to Christ Jesus through her intercession. My mother had given each of my siblings and I a brown scapular when we were children, and I had lost mine. I was overjoyed and felt the Lord telling me I had done as He had hoped I would.