Every so often, the Washington Post newspaper gives its readers a chance to tell personal stories. A recent one had to do with a coincidence ? an unexpected convergence between two events or people. The story was written by a woman named Joy Bates Boyle, who lives here in Washington.

One day, she was riding Washington's Metro subway when she spotted a friendly-looking young man who was wearing a Kansas University baseball cap. That alone was a mild coincidence, since Ms. Boyle was about to visit Kansas University, from which her mom had graduated, to celebrate the mother's 80th birthday.

So Joy Boyle asked the young man if he happened to know of a good restaurant in Lawrence, Kan., where the university is located.

Pretty soon the two of them got to comparing notes about that part of the country. She had grown up in Kansas City, Mo.

So had he.

In a neighborhood called Brookside.

So had he.

At the corner of 67th Terrace and Pennsylvania Ave.

Unbelievably, he had lived right near that very intersection. Things were starting to get a little weird!

"What was your address?" Ms. Boyle asked the young man.

"604 West 67th Terrace."

You guessed it: He had grown up in the very house where she spent her childhood, 1,500 kilometers from Washington. And had slept in the same room, the one with the green shag carpet. Turns out, his parents bought the house from her parents in 1986.

There's a saying that a coincidence is a small miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous. Joy Boyle ended her story this way: "On the Metro, few people speak. Maybe they should."