Keeping the Faith: Of Widows and Godwinks

Elderly hands on a Bible. (Credit: Pexels/Pixabay)
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I recently wrote about my struggle with church attendance — how I was longing to get back to it but kept finding myself inexplicably “ghosting” it. I explained how it was Hallmark (indirectly) which led me back to it. Actually, it was my friend and RedState colleague Kira Davis who led me to Hallmark (via her “A Very Merry Podcast”), which then led me to Great American Family, which then reinforced it was well past time for me to get myself back to church.


Before I proceed, let me acknowledge openly that there is nothing biblical about Hallmark (or even GAF) and I’m not advocating for some sort of extra-scriptural interpretation that confuses culture and entertainment for the Word of God. I may be no theologian, but I’m at least schooled (churched?) enough to understand the folly of that. But, as the saying goes, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

So, at the beginning of the second season of AVMP, Kira and her co-host Amelia Hamilton spoke with SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, the husband-and-wife creative team behind Hallmark’s Godwinks Movie Series. What is a “Godwink”? Rushnell explains it thusly:

The new word “Godwinks” quickly entered into the language meaning those little “coincidences” that weren’t coincidence, but instead, from divine origin.

The word itself evolved while writing my first book, When God Winks. I found myself wondering, “If there’s no coincidence to coincidence, what do you call it?

My wonderful wife Louise and I talked and prayed about it for weeks. One day the new little word floated into myconsciousness⎯ “Godwink” … it was fun and friendly like “Godsend” or “Godspeed”.


Over time our nearly two million readers have led us to a second dictionary meaning. It had never dawned on me that there was no word in the English language for “answered prayer.” Our readers began filling that vacancy by saying, “I just had a Godwink!”


It was a lovely podcast episode, and it came at a moment when my spirit was flagging and I truly needed it. I tweeted such at the time:

Now, back to the church thing. In my recent article, I vowed to attend church in person the following weekend, fully intending to follow through.

And then life got in the way. Not scheduling inconveniences or lame excuses — someone close to me ran into an emotional buzzsaw and very much needed my presence for several days, which necessitated me forgoing the church attendance last weekend.

When this past Sunday rolled around, I knew I really did need to make that extra effort to get there. It’s a little tricky, as I now work on Sunday mornings, but I was able to time things such that I could multi-task while getting ready and still manage to make it to the 11:00 am service.


I was so focused on the work and multi-tasking and recent events, it didn’t even dawn on me until my sister sent a text that Sunday was the three-year anniversary of my father’s passing. Ouch. I get it — I mean, if someone were to ask me the date of his death, I could tell you. I just wasn’t connecting those dots that morning in the face of all the other places my mind was. Still, it stung. And also made me worry about my mother. I hadn’t made plans with her for the day, but wanted to try and do something — go over to her house for a visit, maybe bring some dinner (which ultimately, my handsome beau and I did).

But first, I needed to get to church. There was a moment when I hesitated — thought about just turning it on to watch it online. But I pushed past that and got in the car and drove there — entered the building for the first time in several years.

It was a pleasant service — the music was good and the message was decidedly on point. They’re in the middle of a series on the Book of Acts. Sunday’s message was on Acts, Chapter 6. And what’s that chapter about? Widows. Remembering to practice “radical hospitality” and look after those who are alone.

So, to review: My much anticipated (by me), though somewhat delayed, return to in-person church just happened to coincide with the anniversary of my father’s death and just happened to be about remembering and caring for widows. Got it.


Godwinks indeed.


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