Lois Bolin on Godwink 2020 a special moment in time

by Lois Bolin
Old Naples Historian

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this happened so quickly. Surely this is a Godwink.” “No Honey, that was a God 2 x 4!” Sometimes in our lives we have wonderful blessings that simply fall into our lap and we find ourselves amazed. These are called a ‘Godwink’ or ‘Godincidences’ (or God-instances) – those magical moment when we know something good happened and it is improbable that it was merely random coincidence.

Squire Rushnell, author of When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life, knows what I mean. In 2002 he coined the now mainstream term “Godwink,”, and noted that these coincidences are easily dismissed but if we watch (and feel) closely, we can find its touching & significant meaning. My Godwink began with a call about the demolition of the Chapel Grill, formerly the First Baptist Church, built April 7, 1947. Billy Graham spoke there is his early days.

Have you ever seen gasoline thrown on an acetylene torch? I was, as my Momma used to say, spitting fire. What’s a girl to do but dash off a Facebook post, which garnered many spirited comments. The next day I headed down to the Chapel Grill and as I was walking up to the building, I saw a man who looked as if he could be the new owner. (By then I was only coughing smoke.) He politely told me of his plans, and I blurted  out, in the most Southern genteel way, “May I have the steeple?” “For what?” he asked. “I don’t know – yet.”

My next Facebook post noted my new-found treasure if I could figure out how to take it down. Two hours later I received a text. Twenty minutes later, a plan was conjured up and placed into the very loving capable hands of Elena Moll, a volunteer with St. Matthew’s House. The plan hit a snag but Elena held to her values of honoring history.

I don’t know if you remember the Haldeman House, the oldest house in Naples (once upon a time) which now partially resides in Bonita Springs. After some research, I found the moving company and gave the info to Elena. A week had passed when I received a call. “You are
not going to believe this (wink wink). Just as we were about to give up, I asked if we could pray before we took the easy way out. As we joined hands, my phone rang. It was Chad Flint of Flint & Doyle Structural Movers and Kevin Alicea of K&J Crane Services. Two pioneering families of Ft. Myers, who felt God wanted them to help with this special mission.

Now this new little church, which will be added to this very special place, will have a very special piece of history and its own Godwink to share with all who come to see her.

To learn more on this Godwink, call St. Matthew’s House COO, Steven Brooder at 239-298-5039 or sbrooder@stmatthewshouse.org

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