35. For they know not what they did
My perception and linking certain phrases, numbers, names or colours never seemed to stop. It was getting worse. Throughout 2002 I was unsure, if my illness, which I didn’t think I had any longer, caused these brain waves or a real miracle was taking place. Was an unknown ally, or allies, working in my favour behind the scenes? The agony of uncertainty was just like the pain of the doubt when I was 15. Does she love me too?
A well-known company placed an ad for their coffee in the newspaper. It showed a man sleeping with his head wrapped inside a pillow. I had a habit of sleeping this way since childhood. Even on my overseas trips I packed my feather pillow to wrap around my ears for a good night’s rest. The caption in the ad read: “Without it I am useless’. The same company later ran a competition offering $ 350 000 worth of prizes, inspirational prizes. I recognized and linked the 3 & 5 and the word inspirational. Large posters appeared on bus stops, advertising the same coffee with the slogan: “Your cup of inspiration.”
Another bus stop advertising campaign had the slogan: “Come out to play”. It was everywhere. I just could not avoid taking note of the ads without grasping what product was being advertised. Another slogan for large Credit Union advertised: “It’s not about the money”. This expressed my attitude quite well.
More subtle support came from another direction. As mentioned I was active in the Liberal Party since joining in Mid 2001. During a quiz evening I was so sensitive to my figures and other codes that certain questions or subjects blew my mind. I saw it in a black and white. After Australian racing driver Mark Webber came a sensational fifth in his Formula One racing debut I identified with the name Mark. In the list of donated goods, the name Mark was misspelled as Marl; a typing error maybe, maybe not? I was open to God-incidences, pleased that someone was giving me coded support with the letter L.
It happened also during a quiz night of my son’s soccer club. If the questions were not related to subject surrounding my sphere, the figures added up. Fives and fifties came up everywhere. I had a conscious decision to make to ignore these gestures, because, firstly I still had doubts and secondly, I could become rather proud and arrogant thinking I received special attention. If people were being blessed by my writings, my prayers were being answered. The credit did not belong to me in any way.
The word ‘all’ (as in Goodall) was echoing from advertisements on radio or TV. An apartment block being built in the city advertised with a huge sign: “Above it all”. I overheard people and my students calling things they agreed with ‘all good’. For a long time I linked the word all with my street name.
My daughter Michelle and four friends from University had formed a business, Fifth Floor Graphic design. I had given them some work to redesign my website. Michelle had taken numerous photos years earlier to be utilized on my splash page. When I looked carefully on my website one night I saw the word all as part of ‘small car’. Together with the ca I made up the phrase ‘a see all’. I saw too much.
Later the Lord showed me that it was not to mean a see all. Phrasing it this way draws attention to me, which was not intended. The way the letters all ca showed were to highlight that God was making a call, calling us humans to repentance. Likewise God wants us to call on HIM to respond to HIS invitation to receive HIS forgiveness. My daughter’s group of Five redesigned my website on their own. The way the all featured was totally out of my control. Later I realized how often this little three-letter-word appears in scripture. Directly underneath “all ca” was a photo of a green traffic light. Later the colour green would become prominent.
One day I met an examiner in a car park to conduct a driving test. I commented that the white lines had just been repainted. As if rehearsed and on cue, he replied: “They painted all of them”. It took me a long time to grasp the significance of what was happening. Yet, I accepted it with gratitude, seeing my dream coming true before my very eyes. These little “cookies” confirmed my sanity and steered me into a deeper level of humility. I knew God abhors pride.
A rather incredible ‘coded’ source of moral support must have originated within the Government Department of Transport itself. In about August 2002 my eyes opened to the names of students I had been teaching that year. They were real names, because I checked every student’s details on their learner’s permit. A student who had her address in Hallett Road misspelled as Lallet Road, first alerted me to this mystery. Hallett Road was the one I turned from, while listening to the radio advertisement about Marian from Marion months earlier. The student lived right next door to the Motor Registry.
As I looked back through the preceding months in my diary, reading the names of ex-students I saw that this official hoax must have been played out for a while. I emailed the following letter to Kerry, responding to an amusing piece of writing by a freelance journalist working for the Advertiser:
How I do enjoy your creative, funny writing! As soon as you mentioned Churchill, my brain urged for a response.
You see, I am having so much fun this year amidst all the tragedies. I am a driving instructor. The names of the students I have been teaching this year sound as if they have been hand picked for my amusement.
You would need to know a little of my background story to fully appreciate it, but I’ll try to give enough info to make you laugh.
Yesterday as I was pondering the co-incidence that I had taught a Joshua, Jesse, Jacob, Elisha and Josef this year I spotted the numberplate -Maria 0- coming the other way at 2.45 pm Cr. St. Bernhards and Montacute Rds.
I had just finished teaching Miss Suchi (the Burmese Freedom fighter). Earlier I already had a Mr. Dutschke (a German Anarchist fighting for something).
Miss Eigenwillig (German for strong willed), Mr. Lynch (who deserves lynching?) Miss Care (Clare without L, very shy, needed special attention) Miss Carr (has the name but can’t drive one) are some of the more ordinary connections.
Since I took up singing I had a Mr. Barrowcliff (Cliff Barrows sang in the Billy Graham crusades) and Paul Caruso. This L keeps cropping up. Miss Salin’s permit has a misprint, she lives in Hallett Rd. they printed Lallett Road. I once turned from there into Glynburn Road as I turned on the radio. The incident led to a very bizarre event I may tell you another time). Liesel W. works for the LLL Organisation. Those people who think I am “ from off the planet” saw me give someone a lesson in Galaxy Way, Athelstone and to Mr. Viale (le via - the way?).
Then there are the glamour names, e.g Kennedy, Miss Green lives on Churchill Rd., Mr. Bannerman carries the flag no doubt and Simon is the next door neighbour of a parishioner in our church at Enfield, lives in Baldwin Ct. (Change the a to o and you have bold win, much like law can change to low).
Talking about Enfield, Miss Benn is like my son with an extra n. I always thought if you replaced the n in Lindy with a d, you get Liddy. At least one of those served years in jail innocently. There is another one on a serious note, Mr. Lang. My doctor’s husband (Dr. Lang’s husband was wrongly accused of fondling).
But on a brighter note, Lang’s friend Mr. Goh lives in Green Street, Firle. Miss Bosco (the Boss and Co) lives in Paradise. Not far away in the suburb with the same name as my wife’s maiden name, we have Justin Peters (Peter’s just in).
Please Kerry, don’t think I am making all this up. Perhaps somebody is. (Is there a Galaxy Way in Paradise??) I had a suspicion yesterday somebody is playing games with me. So I left a message on his pager to contact Holly King on 8 336 …., wants auto lessons, long term customer. Won’t they have some fun at the “Mental Health Service for older people” in P’town. (Only if their brain is wired up as crazy as mine).
You know L is the Roman Numeral for 50. Only this morning it came to me that V is not only fitting for Winston Churchill, it’s the Roman Numeral for 5, which has a special significance. But we won’t start on numbers. That story is even more bizzare and totally out of this world.
I normally don’t send long emails, Kerry. I trust you can make some cents out of it.
There was no reply to this email. The coded support I was receiving must have been widespread all through 2002. I enjoyed every bit thankfully. It was an anti-dote for self-doubt that plagued me constantly. All the while my prayer had been for God to make me into a humble person. I never prayed, ‘Lord keep me humble. It would imply that I am already humble. One of my one-liners goes like this:
If you want to become the most humble man in the world, you need a big ego.
As early as April 2002 in my diary I wrote that revival has come. Every time I opened the newspaper people appeared relaxed and full of fun. What had I started? Was God answering my prayer about making HIM trendy again? Was this Joel 2 being fulfilled once again in modern history? Wow, God’s spirit being poured out upon all flesh! Did I have a mental illness and God is working it all together for good?
“If this is the case, I suffer happily, Lord”, I wrote in my diary.
As I became more and more aware that ‘Almighty God’ was doing a work in me personally, I examined all areas of my life. Months previous I had contacted the three pastors and asked to be put right about animosities from years earlier. This was easy. But the man, who deeply hurt me as well as other driving instructors, while working for the MCA, was still a black spot on my conscience.
In theory it was a simple, undemanding thought to convince myself, I hold no grudges. But true reconciliation, in my understanding, is to face the person, admit to a broken relationship and stretch out the hand of friendship once again. I wrote a letter to the man concerned. To my surprise I received a favourable answer; even a suggestion to call into his city office when I am in the area.
During one of my waking session in the middle of the night I rang Radio 5AA one morning to discuss the issue of forgiveness. Talkback radio is a great medium to gain access to a non-judgmental listening ear. I tried to explain how this ex-boss was under pressure from his superior to make a profit and how it caused us all a lot of stress. The radio host understood clearly that I was forgiving the person that harmed us all.
Another person I needed to face and would have liked to forgive was the person who may have misread my approach with my road safety book. I perceived that she looked at me as a potential blackmailer when all I wanted was some help and recognition from government. My first attempt for reconciliation was a phone call. I couldn’t get through, left a message to return my call, which never happened. Later I suggested that some Upper House Members perhaps helped me to bridge the gap and become mediators. No direct response on that score, either.
Out of the blue, months later, I received an email from Mr. T.’s office. I had no idea what had been discussed amongst the Member of the Upper House of Parliament I had emailed over a period of months. Suddenly I received an email that simply provided the email of this person I needed to come clean with. I took it as a sign that I ought to stretch out my hand of reconciliation. I did it with a tool I knew to use best, an email:
My driving-school website contains lots of information on learning to drive and road safety beyond. Some years ago I tried to introduce my road safety book "Low risk driving - a Skill for Life" into the industry without success. Perhaps the climate was not right at the time.
Would you be willing to re-consider supporting its introduction? I know that things happened behind the scenes that we would rather forget. But as a Christian I believe ALL things work together for GOOD.
The … with the MCA who I worked for, always tried to work towards a win/win outcome when there were disagreements. I strongly back that view, if birthed by a genuine spirit of love.
I am asking to you give me the opportunity to show you how my road safety book and website can make a genuine impact in the lives of our young people and their parents. Please email me as soon as possible, if you would like to arrange a meeting so we can work together towards a win for all.
Your safety is driving P L us
PS You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
There was no response. As whistleblower I knew that my actions had hurt people. This was the hardest part of the whole affair. Telling truth can hurt everyone, but once we face the truth and admit our wrong and ask for forgiveness, it produces a joy of unimaginable beauty, making us forget the pain of confronting ourselves. I was hoping to let the person who hurt me know that all was forgiven. How I loved to achieve a true win/win outcome for all!
The same thought is expressed so well in Psalm 139, where the writer confirms his friendly liaison with God. HE is for us not against us. Verses 17 & 18 read: “How precious also are your thoughts towards me, oh God? How great is the sum of them! If I should count them they would be more in number than the sand.” Much later, well after I titled this book, would the word sand take on real meaning.
I discovered another verse in the Psalms that encouraged me in my love for numbers and names. In Psalm 147, Verse 4 it says, “He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by name”. God himself loves numbers and names. This means my condition was not mental after all! A God, who is just and loves numbers and names himself, would not allow my mind to be tortured by these, without a specific purpose.
This dogmatic thought was my strength to cope with all the co-incidents. Each one, no matter how small, I regarded as coming from God as a ‘thought towards me’. His daily thoughts toward me were truly ‘more in number than the sand’.
Autobiography - Dieter Fischer
1. More in number 2. A sound mind 3. Now I'm found 4. Candle and the Wind
5. Realm of Nature 6. All in his Hand 7. The Wonder of it All 8. To Think God loves