One of the pleasant and yet disconcerting experiences you can have when you live far from your home is that of sighting a doppelganger. We have all had the experience where you see someone who looks very similar to someone else you know from elsewhere. In your head you know it isn’t possible, and yet maybe. I think it might happen more often if you are subconsciously missing family (oh, let’s not kid ourselves, it is not so subconscious in our current situation) and friends back home. Becky and I enjoy the experience and we have had our fair share.
We enjoy seeing a lady in our church each week, not only because she is really a lovely person, but because she is the perfect match for Becky’s sister Jeannie. Her ‘still 18’ style, free spirit and gentle presence is a dead ringer for Jeannie. The other day we were in a restaurant with some friends, and the unknown twin of Jay, my daughter-in-law’s father and long time family friend, was there talking with that same tip of the head and engaged nod that makes talking with Jay so delightful. We’ve seen a close facsimile of a friend named Erin, any number of the elderly ladies from our church in Three Hills, and various people with whom either Becky or I grew up. There is a fellow at the local grocery store, that looks just like David Nadeau, Three Hills town councilor and editor extraordinaire at Prairie Tabernacle. Last time I saw “David” at Tesco, I was so confused I went up to a lady sitting next to him thinking she was someone I knew from our local church here and found out I was most certainly wrong. Oops.
Most of the time we appreciate the sighting of a doppelganger from our past. It triggers fond memories of relationships and events that we have enjoyed in life. Every time I go into Tesco and see David’s mirror image, I smile as I recall the unique, but helpful suggestions he had for my sermons at the Tab. Sometimes it isn’t a visual duplication that we note, but rather a personality type. Our administrator at Vine Evangelical where I work has a personality that often reminds me of my good friend and fellow church planter, Gary Short. Gary was instrumental in giving me balance and direction in the years we were at Southview Christian Fellowship and since. In other situations, I have moaned to Becky that I desperately need a Gary in my life. As the administrator speaks truth to me, I silently thank God for the Garys in the world.
I know God is a god of creativity and diversity, and that just like there is no two snowflakes the same, there are no human being the same as another. However, on the days when I see a smile like an old friend, or a walk like one of our parents, or hear a speech pattern like a dear mentor, then I am happy that despite our differences there are some similarities. We hope we see you or your doppelganger soon.