‘Godwinks’ prove God, not the Devil, is in the details

Published 2:32 am Saturday, September 1, 2018

Several weeks ago while listening to Faith Radio, I heard a minister named Charles Swindoll teaching about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

During his message, he quoted the words of Edward MacCartney, “Sometimes we can learn more from the silence of the dead than the speech of the living.” Swindoll said the quote came from MacCartney’s book, Bible Epitaphs.

I decided to find out more about MacCartney and his writings. The Rev. Clarence Edward MacCartney was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania from 1927 – 1957.   He also pastored in Philadelphia and authored dozens of books.

Bible Epitaphs, published in 1936, studies the lives of 17 Bible characters from which he wrote biographical sermons. My curiosity, as well as my love of books, sent me to an online retailer selling copies of old books hard to find or no longer in print. I chose one vendor from the list. Then I clicked on the Thrift Store and ordered a copy said to be in “good condition,” including the book jacket.

About two weeks later, a small package arrived in the mail. Turns out the Thrift Store is located in St. Louis, Missouri. I opened the package, anxious to see what I’d purchased. To my delightful surprise and excitement, I read the handwritten signature of the original owner of the book.

  1. Calvin Holsinger, History Dept., State College, Bloomsburg, Penn. I could not believe my eyes. Dr. Holsinger was my history professor at Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri, 40 years ago. I recalled a Facebook post that I received last year with the news that the 89-year-old retired professor had died.

Then, I looked up his obituary and read that he had taught at Pennsylvania State College early in his education career.

The odds of this happening to me cannot be calculated. The experience defies explanation. It seemed God winked at me. Author Squire Rushnell, in his book When God Winks at You, writes, “Every time you receive what some call a coincidence or an answered prayer, it’s a direct and personal message of reassurance from God to you–what I call a godwink.

“In this book I aim to show that every godwink that happens in your life is a very personal experience,” Rushnell observes as he introduces his book stories about people who experienced a godwink. “Like those stories…the instant you receive a godwink, you’ll know it.”

Another one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Elliot, once wrote, “If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things.”

I’ve heard it said, “The devil is in the details,” regarding items hidden in the fine print. But in the words attributed to Michelangelo, “God is in the details.”

God is an expert in details. After all, He numbers the “the very hairs of your head” and mine

(Luke 12:7). He brought all these circumstances together at the exact time for me.

Jan White is an national award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at jan@janwhitewriter.com.