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A light blue Volkswagen Beetle backed into the empty space next to my car in the medical parking lot. A middle-aged man got out of it. “That’s a nice car,” I said.

He smiled. “It’s a 2014.” We compared notes on VW’s we had owned, and then our conversation turned to family. “I have ten grandkids!” he proudly declared. “And my twelve-year-old granddaughter is coming for the weekend. I was telling my wife I should go buy a cookbook to use with my granddaughter and teach her to cook. I think that’s better than just watching TV the whole time.”

I couldn’t help smiling. “Look what I have.” I pulled out a copy of my new cookbook for grandmothers.

“Are you Lydia?” he asked, looking at my name on the cover. I nodded and handed him food samples to taste from recipes in my book.

“Are you going to write a cookbook for grandpas too?” He took a bite of a buttery cookie.

I shook my head. “No. Grandfathers can use this book as well.”

“Oh, good!” He smiled and handed me a donation for the book. “Our meeting was meant to be.”

“The cookbook also includes Scripture verses and ideas to chat about while you cook with your granddaughter.” I read him an example from the book.

“That’s nice,” he said. “We have four ministers in our family, and I used to attend church.” He paused. “I’ve gotten away from that. But my granddaughter goes to church, and she’s trying to get her family to start attending too.”

The man said again, “Our meeting was meant to be.” Looking toward the medical offices, he said, “My wife recently developed back problems and is having an MRI. She may need surgery.”

“I’m sorry.” I looked at the pink and purple rubber band bracelet on my wrist that my granddaughter Anna had made. “Would your wife like a bracelet like this? I use mine to remind me to pray for my grandkids.”

He looked surprised. “Those are her colors!” As I gave him the bracelet, I asked, “Are you a praying man?”

He looked down. “Not really,” he said quietly.

“Maybe you’ll become one.”

I sensed a nudge to continue the conversation, so I shared the ten-word gospel from my book with him. Then I prayed for his wife’s health, for a wonderful time with his granddaughter, and for all of them to draw closer to Jesus.

He echoed my “amen” at the end and gave me a hug. “Thank you. This was meant to be.”

I turned toward my car. “By the way, what’s your name?”

“I’m Bill.”

“Glad to meet you, Bill.”

In that moment I realized yes, in God’s divine providence, Bill’s and my meeting was not a coincidence. It was definitely meant to be.

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Lydia E. Harris has accumulated over 1,000 writing credits since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr., LIVE, Mature Years, and Purpose. She has also contributed to 29 books, including Blessed Among Women, For Better, For Worse, The Power of Prayer, and Treasures of a Woman’s Heart. For the past 20 years Lydia has written “A Cup of Tea With Lydia,” a column published in 20 Country Register newspapers in the US and Canada, with about a half-million readers. She and her husband live in Lake Forest Park, WA.