TACKED THOUGHTS - Nancy Unchuan Toledo (The Freeman) - October 21, 2018 - 12:00am

I have encountered several images of God that have grown as my faith life has evolved. God is Father. God is Wish-granter. God is Judge. God is Lover. God is Supriser. And fairly recently, I’ve come to think of God as a matchmaker.


Matchmakers were traditionally employed to bring two people together for the purpose of marriage. In an age where dating apps and matchmaking sites were not yet invented, the matchmaker was held in high esteem as his job was to combine two families and set people up for life. My mother often cites the superstition that if one was able to match (in a non-professional capacity) at least three couples, one gets a sure ticket to heaven. Apparently, helping someone find true love is serious heavenly business.

But when I think of God as matchmaker, I do not think of romantic love specifically. I think of all different kinds of true love – one that includes family, friends, co-workers and basically members of one’s community. When I think of God as matchmaker I imagine him in a busy train station, looking down at the millions of human beings on the earth and plotting – making sure that the trains do not collide but that one soul from one route meets a soulmate from another route and they find each other, sitting together for the duration of the train ride.

When I look at the people in my life and the manner and time in which I encountered them, I am in awe at the perfect timing of it all. What if I’d never sat next to this friend in high school? Or never worked with that colleague on a project? What if I’d never met this student in my class? Or was never assigned to this department in school? How differently my life would have turned out if I’d never opened up to this friend or refused to show vulnerability to that one. Relationships are built over seemingly small encounters that can be so easily overlooked and taken for granted. A lot like what happens when we come and go at train stations.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that life isn’t so much about achievement and legacy but about relationship and love. And that soulmates aren’t so much about one romantic partner but about several souls that journey with us throughout life. If we are open and attuned to God’s gentle prodding and little hints, we will find that there is nothing accidental about the people we meet and love, not even the ones who must continue their journeys without us. That makes partings easier to bear, I think. Because I know that with God, no goodbyes are ever final.

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