21. Ladies in Lavender
It was just before 11 am when I entered the modern building opposite St. Paul's Cathedral in central Melbourne. It was located within the tourist attraction, called Federation Square. It housed 'The Australian Centre for the Moving Image', or ACMI. (Those letters will return later in the afternoon). I did not know at the time that a Film Festival was in progress. This explained, why lots of people were taking the escalator to the next floor.
Curious as to where they were heading, I followed. I happened to arrive just as a movie was about to commence, one which was part of the Film Festival. Tickets were only five dollars; plus the film was targeted at a mature-aged audience. I had a few hours to fill in?
No excuse left. I bought a ticket.
Without having given it any thought, I realized a little later that I was sitting in Rowe 3, seat Number 5. A few moments after I had sat down, two ladies came and sat beside me, one each side of me. I felt a little strange, surrounded by two woman, while watching this film about two woman. (As I write I am thinking, I should have looked, what colour they were wearing. Read on).
The film was called Ladies in Lavender, an emotion-charged love story, in a way: Two mature-aged ladies, who live by the seaside, stumble across the almost lifeless body of a young man, washed up on the beach. They take him home and nurture the shipwrecked man back to health. One of the ladies is so taken by the man, she makes him the object of her yearning for love.
As the young sailor gradually recovers, the ladies grow more fond of him. Eventually, they realize they don't own the man. They have to let their priced possession go. To everyone's surprise, the handsome 'frog-turned-prince' reveals his genius for playing the violin. He breaks away finally and performs in London, where he is the musical genius, the hero.
The two ladies beside me (I had changed seats to let them sit together) made no move of any kind, like attempting to rescue me and taking me home as their pet (why not, an old man as pet?). Like many others in the audience, they probably were trying to keep fluids from leaking out somewhere. Why they saw a need for sitting each side of me, remains unclear.
(As humourous as this may sound, I recently saw a program, where woman in Africa have just this problem, not being able to hold back urine. It must be awful. The program mentioned that a relatively cheap operation could fix these woman. The illness is called fistula, vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF). If I was rich that's where I would spend money on! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3817009.stm
My body needed some exercise. I walked across Swanston Street Bridge, which spans the Yarra River. Alongside the boatsheds on the banks of the Yarra I hired a bicycle. In a big, busy city a bicycle is the ultimate mode of transport, fast and no traffic jams or parking problems - freedom.
Continuing down memory lane I cycled along the edge of Lake Albert, which I knew would take me to Saint Kilda, only a few kilometers south of central Melbourne. Cycling opposite Luna Park at St. Kilda Beach twenty minutes later, I spotted an apartment with a 'For Sale' sign.
It was a crazy thought, but because the sign read BUXTON, plus the building was Number Twenty-one, I had a closer look - the agent's phone number ended in 119 190. The numbers switched me on. (This was not long after publishing my 19001 episode in the US).
To me it would make perfect sense: If people were reading my claims (that God could guide a person) they may test it in practice. What better starting point than my code in letters (TON = 'on cross') and number 19, the flavour of the month.
I dialed the agent's number on my mobile, which I seldom carry, but had with me at the time. I left a message on the answering service, asking for the price of the property opposite Luna Park. The salesman returned my call not long afterwards. I played my little game, wishing I would owe half a million dollars, to even consider buying such a unit. (The locality - opposite Luna Park, even Isobel would agree, would be a perfect location for somebody a little loony).
I was never sure in those moments, if my long-shot, outside the box, highly speculative way of thinking was not just, plain loony? But I believed God. How would HE allow my mind to go that far off the rails, if there was no intelligent purpose? My walk by faith, blind faith, made more sense to me, than any other explanation for my strange behaviour.
Around the corner, only minutes later, it happened again. I don’t know what made me turn left off Acland Street and cycle up the hill to Herbert Street, but I did. On my pervious visit I liked the European look of that corner. Perhaps that's where the thought originated to cycle that way?
On the right hand side of Herbert Street I noticed another (you guessed right) 'For Sale' sign, outside a block of units. By sheer fluke it was open for inspection right then. I went inside the ground floor unit and chatted briefly with the salesman in attendance. He passed me a leaflet. I saw a date, couldn't help myself playing my little de-coding game.
I saw 228 won in above date.
My diary gives the street Address of the Agents - No. 159 (Two OK) Road...I get it, it makes sense.
A lady was just exiting this unit as I arrived. After my 'inspection' I saw her later on Herbert Street in a car, trying to turn around. A ladies shoe, in good condition, was lying on the roadway. I called out to her about the shoe, but didn't go as far as asking: "Can I teach you a three-point-turn? But it's easier with both shoes on!"
Cycling north along the seafront I found myself looking at For Sale signs and automatically engaging my decoding brain. I knew I had to be careful playing this little game. It could easily get out of control.
My psychiatrist once was worried about me going to a friends birthday party for this same reason. Over stimulation, supposedly, can send people like me into a high. If he were to read this, what would he recommend? Stronger tablets to ensure I wasn't having so much fun? (To hell with your tablets!). Why don't they tell people with mental problems that there is a God, who knows, who loves, who cares and can help?
How ironic, his address I used to see him at was Melbourne Street; all works together for good.
As expected there was a further Real-estate sign, which made me cross to the other side of the wide road and have a closer look. It may have been the name Cayzer which did the trick. Plus a couple of men were standing around nearby. Being bi-lingual and creative I translated Cayzer into Kaiser - Emperor in German.
The men standing outside the tall apartment block were in dark suits, shirt and tie. I figured, they must be real Estate Agents. After checking the sign I considered asking them the standard real estate question, how much is it? But to casually enquire about a possibly 1/2 Million Dollar apartment, and even more casually passing by on a push bike, is revealing that you are not a serious buyer.
I refrained from enquiring and turned my bike to move on. As I did my eyes fell on a blue square packet of cigarettes on the road, near the kerb. The brand ‘Dunhill’ rang a bell. My diary says, I laughed (in public) after picking up and discovering 5 cigarettes inside the blue packet. How hilarious, someone had been reading Chapter ... hey, …now I get it – this makes sense:
As I was thinking, which chapter was the Dunhill story in, I remembered that I had only meters away from a Dunhill carton also found a broken plastic ruler with the letters CA on it.
Now, in true memory lane fashion, this made sense. I had just come from ACMI and Acland Street to this spot and picked up five cigarettes in a Dunhill packet. What are the chances to link the word Dunhill with the letters AC twice, in two different cities and months apart?
(Just had another thought - Dunhill - done hill - the cross where IT happened was on a hill... Awesome!)
But there was more; another link to where I had been, barely two hours earlier. As I continued my cycle along a track next to a tramline (streetcar in the US), two ladies were walking along. They were carrying plastic bags.
At first I took little notice. Then it came. It was as if a seed had been sown in my mind. The further I pedaled the bigger the seed grew, the clearer the picture crystallized: "Those two ladies are wearing unusual colours. It almost looks like … wait a minute … where was I about 2 hours ago? "Ladies in lavender". Here were two ladies dressed in ... lavender. Why did I see it, link it and react so strongly? What a mystery!
The rational side of me argued: “So what - two ladies dressed in a funny colour, which happens to look a bit like lavender? I can't just go up to them and ask, if I can take a photo?
What would they say?
But the rational side of me won. The part that says, if I don't seize this moment, it will never come again. I turned back and caught up with my two lavender ladies. I politely asked, if they objected to me taking their photo. They were friendly and did not mind at all.
As I was preparing this section for uploading, Isobel walked into the room and said: "Look what I afforded myself today. She held up a jacket she had bought (a bargain). It was in the identical colour to what the lady on the left is wearing.
If the colour is not a clue, how about the logo on the plastic bag? The writing says 'Central Depot'. D&P on T are central. I agree.
The colour red and white is also interesting. Alert readers may have noticed that the hand on my index page alternates between red/white/red etc. The colour red symbolizes a sinful, bloodstained heart. After repenting of sin God gives you a new clean heart, symbolized by the colour - white.
Onions - an is on! I'm glad now I took this photo. Thanks, ladies in lavender.
Thinking about such co-incidences, I came to the conclusion that people deal with such unusual matters in two ways. Those who are not on a journey, they don’t noticed them at all or ignore them. Those on a journey, on a mission, capture it all with a childlike mind.
If this childlike mind is filled with God’s Spirit, it will ask – Daddy, is this from you?
And God may say: “No my child, but I really like it, when you are thinking of me”.
Half an hour later I returned my bicycle. The young lady in attendance made a comment, which only sunk in after thinking about it: "Did the wind carry you home?"
During the football match that evening I kept thinking about the 4 ladies in Lavender. (Nothing new - men thinking about colourful woman). In between images of women dressed in lavender, I saw football players desperately trying to control the ball and kick it between the goal posts. Not that night, sorry!
The match ended in a (predictable) NIL all draw (0:0).
I had some fun with this result, because I remembered the results of the two previous matches Adelaide United had played. Two weeks prior (on 22/7) it was 2:2, one week later 1:1. Now you understand, why I called 0:0 predictable!
If I were to ask God: "Daddy, is this from you?" God might answer:
“No, my child. The reason the score was 0:0 was your forward line didn't score a goal. They kept running into the off-side trap, their corner kicks and long passes were not on target and Carl didn’t use his head as well as he will be in Newcastle at 8.18 pm on 26/8/05. But I like it when you are thinking of me. I like it when footballers think of me.
Just a logo - for magic look above!
NIL all does not sound exciting. To me it was. The NIL score triggered an incident, involving the letters NL last evening (Thursday 10/11/05). Who was behind it, I am sure. On the morning of writing this, I lay in bed barely awake. I had a thought. I looked at the clock. It showed 3.15 am. Something was brewing.
As mentioned, God played a little game the previous night. He loves fun and so do I. That morning I received the explanation, why God was having fun - names.
I had walked into a huge church where Darlene Zschech, a famous singer/songwriter led a concert/worship evening. At the door I greeted Alan. I knew him from the time we had attended this church. I mentioned that a white Toyota had left its lights on in the carpark. It had already been taken care of.
Since I was on my own I wondered, where I should sit? I walked into the auditorium, having purchased the latest copy of 'Every Day With Jesus' on the way. Continuing into the dimly lit main hall I spotted a family, I also recognized from years ago. I sat with this man, his wife and adult daughter.
Their names were Neill, Lynnette and Leanne. Toward the end of the evening I spotted not far to my right a young lady, who had taken driving lessons with me ten years earlier. I remembered her name, Lena. Later I went over to speak to her.
In my early morning dreamtime it suddenly came to me - these were the only people I had had close contact with that evening. Their names all included the letters N & L, including Alan, then man at the door (including his surname) and not least - Darlene, the singer/songwriter.
I like to play with letters, so did God that night at the Darlene Zschech concert. I really do not know, if there is a higher purpose. A game is a game. Unless it was meant as a test - would I sit there and/or notice the names? I did both.
(On 22/8/05 in a story, waiting to be told, I walked into the huge auditorium of Hillsong, Darlene Zschech's home Church in Sydney - I didn't know where to sit. I realized afterwards I had chosen seat No. 53. A moment later two ladies sat right in front of me. One wore a T-Shirt ALLSTAR. The colour? No, it was not lavender, who cares).
A few Sundays ago we sang Darlene's well known song Shout to the Lord. One line toward the end is similar to Psalm 46, Verse 3, the first Psalm my children learned around the dinner table when they were aged ten so so.
Shout To The Lord - Zschech Darlene
My Jesus, My Saviour
Lord there is none like you
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of your mighty love
My comfort, My Shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship you
Shout to the Lord, all the earth
Let us sing. Power and majesty, praise to the king.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of your name
I sing for joy at the work of your hands
Forever I'll love you, forever I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in you.
I sing for joy at the ... car registration plates I see! (This one I took in New South Wales on the way to Newcastle).
Believe it or not: I had written the draft of this chapter on Friday 11/11/05, fully intending to upload on 13/11/05. Less than 1/2 hour ago (on 13/11) I interrupted my editing to watch the BBC's Songs of Praise. They played Darlene's well known song 'Shout to the Lord'. That's God.
The theme of Songs of Praise that morning was Football and Rugby and the hymns that are sung at football matches.
That morning I had been in the city, watching with other fans Australia play Uruguay in the elimination round for Germany 06, the World Cup. Uruguay's winning goal came in the 35th minute (not the 38th, as one reporter said at half time).
Football and God - what a winning combination! Australia's football fraternity (some still want the sport to be called soccer) are holding their breath, until the deciding match is played on Wednesday 16/11/05 in Sydney.
We sang Darlene's song at our small Baptist Church a few weeks ago. The fifth last line (about mountains bowing and the seas roaring) had me thinking - outside the box, long shot!
On Dec. 27th 2003* the mountains around the town of Bam, Iran took a bow to the awesome power of nature. It devastated the town and many surrounding villages.
Exactly one year later, again on Dec. 27th*, just off the Indonesian Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the seas roared and were troubled. (Psalm 46,3), causing a natural catastrophe, the proportion of which was unparalleled in recent history.
*Correction: both dates should read 26th December.
Ask a German to say the German word for 'Surname'. What comes out should sound very much like the word tsunami. ...the seas will roar at the sound of your name.
Were the words of this song, which millions of people, the world over, sing every Sunday, inspired and prophetic?
Coming back to the names with the letters NL, a thought came to me while taking my dog for a walk last evening (Sat 12/11/05). At our top oval on Nelson Road (how fitting) just before 7pm, I saw 10 coloured markers on the green grass, five yellow, five red. Some cricketers were winding up their practice session. The way I saw the markers, they looked to me, from what I saw as I walked by, like the letters IL.
Walking back down Yulinda Terrace (more NL) I pondered about IL. Becky was not much help. She was just happy sniffing here and there and lifting a her hind leg. (OK as long as she only lifts one leg. Dog owners would know, what two legs in action means - plastic bag, smelly job, I'm doing it every day).
The code came to me on Yulinda Terrace: IL is 49 in Roman numerals. This follows, Four nine reads for en in - my story in two Roman numerals. One and L go well together in the Da Ninci code. Just think of the possibilities! STOP PRESS!
STOP PRESS! I was just thinking of a possibility. I am glad I waited and did not upload this chapter at midnight last night, when it was only one chapter. If what I just discovered is not from GOD, then I deserve to be in a Mental Hospital.
My story in the two Roman Numerals (IL) together with my story in the two letters DY, the beachside suburb of Sydney (Dee Why), make LIDY!
Anyone looking for the missing D? How about the name of the very first edition of my road safety game, now called Traffic Jam? It was called Formula 500! Nobody gave a stuff to even look at it! But God has HIS ways. HE does not need anyone, CEO or beggar - HE is GOD.
To hell with tablets and Mental Hospitals.
I just noticed the time of writing this - 12.55 PM.
It all so incredible! Impossible! I can't believe it myself. How does that fit with the magic of chapter 20 - two goals in the last 5 minutes to win 2:1? And now this incredible twist in chapter 21!
Friends, this is beyond me.
But our God is in the heavens. HE has done whatever HE has pleased.
(Psalm, 115, 3).