By Vic Kohring, February 10, 2013
My dear father's passing last month was a shock to
my family and left a gaping hole in my heart. But it helps knowing he's no longer suffering from Alzheimer's, a cruel and merciless disease with no cure. More important, I take great comfort knowing my dad is now in God's presence. It makes a loved one's passing
much easier to bear.
Many of us experience unusual circumstances as we go about our daily lives that can't always be explained. Some conclude they are mere coincidences or either good luck or bad. But sometimes things occur that are so unusual, with
such frequency or inexplicable odds, that the only real explanation is that it originates from God or a Supreme Being. I've taken note how such incidents happen to me frequently, which I'm convinced is God at work and not something occurring randomly or by
A series of unusual events surrounding my dad's passing occurred in recent days, as if God was reaching out to my family to help sooth the pain of our loss. For example, the moment of his departure from this earth was precisely at midnight
as the new year was ushered in. Not a minute before or after. Straight up midnight on January 1st. Then, on the day of his interment at Fort Richardson National Cemetery, an amaryllis plant my mother gave him for Christmas 24 days earlier suddenly bloomed.
After the interment, we learned that the assigned plot number is the exact same number of my dad's home address of the last 35 years. The plot is "161 N" and his address was "161 Flag." This number was designated from over 4500 burial sites. Then, my dad's
resting place turns out to be exactly 40.0 miles to his front door at home. All coincidences? More likely examples of God's communicating and reminding us of His existence.
The most unusual incident occurred January 23rd, five days after the interment.
I was visiting the cemetery and walking the quiet grounds just before dusk on a gray, cloudy day, when sunlight suddenly broke through the clouds and streamed down, forming a stunningly beautiful, almost surreal moment. Most extraordinary, was that the light
rays beamed directly on my father's section, a small area in one corner of the grounds, with streaks of orange breaking through giant, beautifully formed clouds. A few minutes later, the clouds closed and the dramatic, spectacular display of beauty I witnessed
was gone. I felt I was in God's presence as I stood in wonderment.
What does all of this mean and what can be interpreted? Were these things meant to happen? Were they signs from God, fate or random happenstance? As a Christian, I believe
a greater power - a supernatural entity - was at work in tandem with my own faith as part of God's design for my life. Each incident was a Divine providence, God's way of impressing upon me through direct intervention in my life, that not only does He
exist, but that He is in control and active in guiding and comforting me through life's most serious challenges.
Last month, I wrote a tribute to my father which appeared in these pages. At times I found it near impossible to read my work through the
constant tears, but it was worth the emotional trauma as it was important I share with the world what a great man my father was. Engraved on his marker is a Bible verse from 2 Timothy 4:7, which reads, "I have fought a good fight; I have finished
my course; I have kept the faith." Our family believes these words are perfect as my dad fought hard to live a good life, finished the job well and because of his faith and salvation, is now with the Lord.
With deep appreciation, I thank so
many of you who've offered condolences, prayers and words of encouragement following our loss. I feel truly blessed to live in a community with such wonderful and supportive people.