Coincidence or Providence?
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 10:44PM
[Your Name Here]

How many times in your life do things happen that you simply write off as coincidental, accidental, serendipitous, luck, or never again in a million years?  Strange things like this happen to us frequently and we call it a blessing or a miracle.  Only God’s intervention could possibly cause this to happen.  We see it, evaluate it, laugh at it, but most of all give thanks for it. 

Our son, Timothy James Meaney, is a mature man of 45+ who has spent his entire adult life in the world of music.  Singing, writing, traveling, comforting, amusing, praising, have all been born from his special God-given gift.  It’s no surprise to his parents that this should be so.  After all, the thing he loved most as a 6 month old baby was to be set in front of the stereo with gigantic headphones, embracing his jolly, not so little head.  When he heard Carol Channing singing “Hello Dolly,” he grinned from cheek to cheek. 

Later, in his primary school years, he went to sleep every night with those same headphones on, but this time lulling him into slumber were the dulcet tones of Beverly Sills singing arias from “Lucia de Lammermoor.”  As he and his brother Jeff became supernumeraries for the Seattle Opera Company, he was reacquainting his memory with the exact musical phrases and key points at which he would enter the stage to perform his part.

As he became an adult and married and had a family, his talent simply grew and rose to the occasions of life that he wished to address with song.  Inspiration came from many sources:  his God, his loves, his failings, his children, his life.  His associations with Walt Disney Company, Calvary Chapel Church and many other organizations gave him multiple opportunities to travel all over the world to share his music.  One of his favorite places to travel and give concerts was Germany.  It was there that he had a considerably large fan base.  Returning yearly strengthened his connections with his German friends.  By 2010, there were literally thousands of Timothy James CD’s all over the European continent. 

The beautiful CDs he made found themselves all over the world and deep into the heart of Africa where Tim’s parents, Mike and Marie Meaney, proudly shared the CDs as gifts for their friends and co-workers in sub-Saharan Africa.  His parents’ hearts had been captured by the Ugandan people and the very special circle of trustworthy friends who could enable the building of classrooms for children at risk.  The Headmaster, Mr. Francis Kumahanda, who operated the school for disabled children became close, like family.  In this school called “Sure Prospects Institutute,” children who would otherwise have been marginalized in their society, had a chance to read Braille, speak sign language and be integrated into a society not readily accepting of people with handicaps.

Head Master Francis, along with thousands of other Ugandans, had polio as a child and it left its mark on his body like so many others whose parents were told NOT to take that immunization as it was probably contaminated and it would only serve to destroy their tribe since it was surely planned by wicked people who wanted to see to their quick demise.  Even today that terrible rumor travels from village to village, thus causing thousands of children to NOT receive their Salk vaccine, so generously financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

And so Headmaster Francis, one of the smartest, sharpest individuals we have ever met, walks with a severe limp, aided only by a very thick soled shoe.  God has gifted Francis with a unique specialty.  Besides administering and running a school for hundreds of children, he is able to assess a student’s handicap in a way that enables a child to be lifted up to the next higher level of their potential.  He seeks out these special children in the larger Kampala area, always smiling and rejoicing in God’s grace. 

In his quest to update his school with current equipment needed to help students reach their potential, Francis agreed to travel to the Netherlands via KLM to take part in their program to encourage Africans to improve their standards in education.  Francis made this very special trip in May 2010 to Holland, where he was hosted by many lovely people who helped him to observe daily how children with special needs were educated in Holland.

Francis took with him to Holland his beloved CDs of Mike and Marie’s son, Timothy James Meaney.  One day while out to eat lunch, he settled himself down in a booth, set up his little stereo system and proceeded to play the CD’s of TJM.  In the booth next to him were some young men.  When they heard the music, they turned around and asked Francis who that singer could be?  Francis’s response to them was, “It’s the son of the people I work with in Uganda, Mike and Marie.”

They said, “Do you mean Timothy James Meaney?”  The answer was “yes” and we can only imagine what the conversation turned to when young men traveling from Germany to Holland, met up with another young man traveling from Uganda to Holland, who all admired the same musician.

Is it an accident?  Coincidence?  Providence?  You tell me.

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