Divine Appointments

Barbara McAfee Posted by Barbara McAfee.

Barbara McAfee is a musician, coach and consultant with over twelve years of experience in organizational change.


I am walking along the Mississippi River near my home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I am walking along the Mississippi River near my home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After dithering around in my house in full procrastination mode for several hours, I am finally outside and moving in the chill November afternoon. Suddenly I hear a woman sobbing… loudly…and see her walking right toward me on the path.

My first thought is, “Good for you, Sister! Let ‘er rip!” I decide right away to offer witness and support for the bold tears of that brave stranger. As I draw closer, I recognize the woman as a beloved friend. As soon as she sees who is coming up to her, laughter mixes into her tears. Still crying, she keeps repeating, “Oh my God! You’re an angel!” Then she falls into my arms and cries out her storm of grief. When she is finished, she tells me about her grief as we continue our walk together.

My 92-year-old mother would call this a “divine appointment.” It’s an ideal description of that experience of running into just the perfect person at the perfect time. Is it just me or are those divine appointments happening more frequently?

Just yesterday I was out on that same path again. I’d lollygagged around my house procrastinating and puttering just like I did months ago. I recognized a woman walking toward me as someone I’d met out in the world somewhere. She stopped and said, “Barbara, I can’t believe you’re here!”

Here we go again.

That morning she’d gone on Facebook (which she swears she never ever does) and read my blog post about grief. She told me that her mom had died recently and that the grieving was challenging. Something in what I’d written helped her….and just a few hours later, here I was.

So there’s a double divine appointment. One – she goes on Facebook just in time to read my post in the feed. Two – we run into each other on the river path. She confessed that she’d been postponing her walk for hours as well. I told her about “divine appointments” and told her the story of running into my sobbing friend on that very path.

Still awestruck and grateful for that connection, I went to the grocery store for a few things. You’ll never guess who I found in the produce section. Yep. The weeping woman. Her. I hadn’t seen her in the months since I encountered her on the river path.

This time it was my turn to say, “Oh, my God! You’re an angel!” I told her about “divine appointment” that had just happened on the river path. One thing led to another and before we parted ways, we had decided to attend a weeklong singing workshop together next summer.

Heaven knows who we’ll run into there!

If you have a good “divine appointment” story, I’d love to hear it!