23. Seven pink balloons
Towards the end of 2004 the Government of South Australia ordered Sir Eric Neale, our ex-governor, to conduct a review into the process of licensing of new drivers. What sparked this move was, amongst other factors, a startling statistic. One driving instructor teaching/testing by the log-book system drew attention to himself. In his dual role of instructor/examiner he failed everyone of his students, when a government auditor was present. When this instructor was testing his students without an inspector watching from the back seat, the vast majority passed the test. (I wonder, why?)
Like many of my colleagues I had struggled with this system since its inception 12 years earlier. We were hoping that our industry would return to common sense - one expert teaching and another one, preferably a totally independent Government officer, conducting the test at the end. Plus, for the sake of road safety, each student ought to be tested independently, not simply 4 percent, who were unlucky enough to be chosen at random.
More and more experienced instructors were turning their backs on this system. They opted for the alternative (common sense) method of teaching students and engaging another instructor to conduct a driving test. My business had almost come to a standstill (for various reasons) and I was eagerly awaiting the findings of this enquiry. Just before Christmas 2004 Sir Eric released his findings.
His report was very disappointing for instructors, looking for independence in the system. But, as I understand it, the Terms of Reference for the enquiry did not include looking at the fundamental problems, but to search how the existing system worked. Therefore, what would have satisfied us mature instructors, did not happen. Instead the report advocated being tougher on those instructors, who had become slack in dealing with their clients.
This probably would include me, because I once overlooked an learner driver 'speeding' through a school crossing (no children anywhere) at 28 km/h, when the speed limit was 25 km/h. Or was there a warning to all those instructors, who don’t fail a student for indicating only 3 seconds when pulling out from the kerb, instead of the mandatory 5 seconds. I have fought this kind of madness now for 12 years, obviously without success. The only conclusion I drew from this latest development was that my future was not in driving instruction in South Australia.
Being virtually out of work had its up-sides. Whilst in the past my active nature would be stressfully bored, I had time to think, to write and to do some voluntary work.
At the beginning of 2005 I knew more than ever that God had spoken to me and through me. What my wife considered as running around to feed my psychosis, I regarded as being guided by the Spirit of God. Sooner or later one of us had to see reality.
A very encouraging aspect that gave me confidence was the silent, but very definite way a certain section of the community was showing me support. The following picture is only one of many clues I picked up as I glanced over the kitchen table one day. Somebody must have read my autobiography and showed support in this manner:
It so happened that days earlier I had uploaded some writing in this autobiography. It brought the total up to 149 chapters. Did the graphic artist also think “a n is OK?”
Please, don’t think I was searching for such clues. I couldn’t help noticing the catalog on the kitchen table. It was front page.
As positive as this was, when I felt that God Himself was confirming that HE was behind it all, my faith was even more strengthened. I can only describe the following as ' God's magic'. Again it involved numbers. No human could have arranged any of these numbers. At the time of publication in 2002, they did not mean anything. The revelation only came on 28.2.05, almost 3 years later. Here is the story:
A missionary in Kenya, Africa, had launched their new website in early 2002. My wife and I had visited his family in 1972. He was only 12 years old then. The numbers I am astounded about are for all to see in the guest-book of the missionary-team’s website. (I am reluctant to give a URL for privacy).
(Email to XXX , Translated from German)
Subject: Numbers don’t lie
Hallo Peter und Rebekah and all at XXX,
Thank you for your email. Isn’t it fabulous how easy it is to be able to be linked with so many so fast. Out of curiosity I recently read your guest book. I discovered something strange.
For years I am having an argument with my wife. I believe God can use co-incidences to show himself. Naturally, God does not speak to everybody in this way. And not all would realize that God was talking to them in such un-orthodox ways.
Over the years I have uncovered certain numbers (amongst other things), where God spoke to me. One of the most important was the date 1.2.03 (a long story).
In your guest book I came across and read my first greeting to you. It was the 13th entry listed. The date was 11.3.2002 at 13.02 (1.02pm).
Well, it could all be a co-incidence. This is true. But when this type of incidence occurs almost daily, one has to ask: What is God doing to me? If this is how YOU want to work with me, Lord, I am prepared to be your servant.
Other people may not see it this way. This is fine with me. The pain comes when you are being labeled mentally ill, for your unusual thinking.
Many greetings from Adelaide
Dieter R. Fischer
PS As I pondered about this amazing incident, I calculated that my entry into your guest book came 10 months and 20 days before 1.2.03. Numbers don’t lie.
Only recently God showed me another numbers incident, again involving the numbers 1, 2 and 3. The daily bible reading in the NK Kalender on 8/03/05 was from Luke, Chapter 21, Verse 2 & 3. (That day was the 41st anniversary on my Konfirmation – a celebration in which teenagers confess their faith before the church).
The content of this short biblical truth is as important as the numbers. In a few words Jesus commends a poor widow for giving all that she had – two copper coins.
An occasion came to mind in an instant, where two copper coins had played a role about two months after the 1.2.03 crash of the Columbia Spacecraft. I had picked up two copper coins in the carpark of the Days Inn, the Motel I had been staying (Chapter 68, More in number). Looking back I now wonder, if indeed somebody had read my story and was testing, if indeed there was something supernatural going on?
It’s a long shot, but even a remote possibility is a possibility. For the same reason, I believe, God had led me a day later to No. 2001 3rd Avenue, Riverside, California.
Please allow me to again reiterate that I am not a follower of numerology. I have no interest in witchcraft or astrology. All I want is God’s will for my life. The methods HE uses are not up to me to question. Or should I say - question perhaps, but not argue with. When HE draws attention to circumstances, such as the ones above, I prayerfully consider what action to take - and then do it. The rest is up to God. The key words are submission and trust. Lord, whatever, wherever, whenever – please lead me from moment to moment.
On Tuesday March 8th 05, I am convinced, HE again did just that. It was a beautiful, sunny day, the temperature in the mid 20’s. It was a great opportunity to accept my son Tim’s offer to use his bicycle to visit an old friend. (I had washed his car that morning, before he was off to Bible College. Tim is the one who, on his own accord, decided to enrol in Bible College – after 3 weeks he already knows more than I do about theology. I agree with him on every issue, otherwise he won’t lend me his pushbike).
But that day God had other plans than me riding a bicycle - it had a flat tyre. So I took the car to visit Ben, who used to live in the neighbourhood, but was now a resident in an Eastern suburbs nursing home.
Driving along Glynburn Road I recalled a conversation on a Radio Station the day before. It was about a set of pedestrian-activated traffic lights in need of upgrading. The degree of intensity of the discussion, I could sense, was over the top. (The Royal Automobile Association even had sent a representative to inspect the location and later reported back to the Radio Station). Somebody was playing games and I wanted to be in on it.
It surprise me that the popular radio station was discussing the triviality of traffic lights, when the news that week was dominated by a much more serious issue. Adelaide had been stunned by allegations about a link from Adelaide’s pedophilia circle to a Member of Parliament. The controversial comments came from none other than the Speaker of Parliament himself, Mr. Lewis, the same person (PL, the politician), who featured prominently in the first part of this, my autobiography.
Peter Lewis raised this issue after three informants, who had given evidence into an enquiry on the abuse of children, fell victim to suspected foul play; two were dead, one badly bashed, as I understand it. The police was treating at least one of the deaths as murder.
(Adelaide will hear more of this story. A male voice speaking on radio a moment ago said, he hopes the truth is finally coming out. I am afraid, however, that the other PL, the magistrate, will not be included in any search for truth, because the enquiry is only about abuse of children under state care. If I understand it correctly, Peter Liddy’s alleged victims were not custodians of the state. Therefore I think it was out of order for Channel Seven TV to have Mr. Liddy shown on their TV program “Today Tonight’ on 9/03/05).
Why worry about such trivia? I decided to check out the traffic lights, mentioned on the radio the day before. It meant a detour, which I would not have taken, had I been on the bicycle. From experience I was very often led to localities around town, and only on arrival did I realize I was meant to go there. That Tuesday was no exception. Street names made sense; Jackson Street, Giles Street and Ash Street were the ones that stood out. Each name (or the first three letters in Ash…) had a place in my story.
In one of the streets a large ‘for sale’ sign advertised a property for sale. (Real Estate Agents around Adelaide must know me by now). From the phone number listed I deducted that I had again stumbled across another ‘Plus One’ fan - apart from all the zeros 13 and 14 were the only numbers left. (Oh, how co-incidental, the date as I am writing this is 10.3; far too early for a 1.4 joke).
There was not much wrong with the traffic lights, as I had suspected. The trees needed a trim, perhaps, to gain a better view of the lights. Otherwise, I was almost positive there was a story behind this story. I parked the car and reflected, as I silently prayed. Why had God sent me to this locality? Nothing came, so I turned to drive to the Nursing Home, my original destination. Then a small, blue sign took my fancy. It looked freshly painted. I liked the Da Ninci interpretation of the name “About Peace”.
I tried to ignore the sign. No normal person follows a sign, just because it looks freshly painted and contains letters you like. But I wasn’t normal. Almost daily someone reminded me of this fact. But being regard as mentally challenged (crazy) may in fact have helped me overcome my inhibitions to do crazy things. So being called crazy I turned to my advantage. I was just being what I was labeled to be. It made acting crazy easier.
As I turned my car around to reverse and enter the street, which leads to the ‘Peace’ place, I saw a huge No. 7 (house No.) made of brass. It gave my numbers-brain a little comfort that I may be indeed on the right path in my journey. Only moments later, at the place of my destination, the No. 7 would again hit me.
‘Peace Place’ was an Arts Centre I had passed many times, but never visited. On entering a lady welcomed me briefly and without any questions showed me around the different rooms of activities. Very casually, in passing, a younger lady handed me a green sheet, the prize list for her 55 paintings on display in an adjoining room.
Gradually it dawned on me that I again, as so many times before, had come to the right place. There was a mixture of clues hitting my brain as I perused the works of art. More would emerge later. All paintings were in oil (the word oil was written next to each one, why the toil?). Most of the exhibits cost 500 or 900 Dollars, (19-500, 14-900). Two paintings really teased my numbers brain. One of the oils was prized at $ 600. It was number 39 (963?). Only one, painting No. 30, cost $ 98 (101?). It was the only one where the price didn’t end in a 5 or 0.
But painting number 7 took the cake. The $ 500 Dollar painting was about the size of a medium-sized TV screen, with a narrow frame. Painted mainly in red it was appropriately titled “The Red Hill”. If you have read my entire first book, you will have come across the section, where I took a photo of an intersection on the corner of Red Hill/Mitchell Ave in a suburb of LA, California (Chapter 67). My outside the box mind saw red as blood and the hill that went with it as Golgotha.
Therefore, the tiny scratch mark, shaped like a cross, on the narrow frame of No. 7 may have been deliberately done. Except the buyer may never know that this cross, and it definitely looked like a cross, is part of this work of art!
Before leaving I could not resist signing the visitor’s book and adding the remark: “Love No. 7”. I drew a little cross, just like the scratch marks on Red Hill, so the creative artist would know, her work was not in vain.
With half an hour’s delay I was finally on my way to visit Ben. At the large roundabout near my destination I noticed a bunch of pink balloons. Nine pink balloons featured in my autobiography a few chapters back (No. 9). I had to check this out, but it would need to wait until later.
Ben, whom I visited every two weeks or so, was happy to see me. He agreed to my suggestion to go for a short excursion into the nearby Adelaide Hills, instead of sitting and talking in his dark room. It was the first time I had taken him out and we both enjoyed the outing very much, especially the brief stop at the beautiful Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. They really looked its best that afternoon.
After saying good bye to Ben I drove back towards the roundabout, where I had registered the pink balloons earlier. I parked the vehicle nearby and noticed right there (I saw too much, as usual) a place abbreviated CCEC. The name of the shops was called the … Now I get it … My God … just as I am typing and seeing the E drawing attention to itself. The name of the little group of shops and the nearby Hotel is called “The Feathers”.
This is spooky, Friends. This explains why there were only seven pink balloons.
There is a reason for everything, even a flat tyre on the bicycle.