Mysterious Ways
By Adam Hunter

My Family's Own Mysterious Ways

I’ve written about and edited the Mysterious Ways stories of so many people these past few years, but the ones that have impacted me the most are the ones I’ve heard from my own family.

My grandparents Morey and Rita, “Pop” and “Nana,” were both dynamic, powerful presences in my family. Every year they took me, my mom, dad, sister, my aunt, my uncle and my two cousins on summer vacations throughout the world: a Mediterranean cruise, a tour across Italy and the Amalfi coast, a house on Nantucket island to name a few.

Their generous, gregarious natures endeared them to everyone they met. They lived in northern New Jersey, we lived an hour away, and my aunt lived in Boston, but we all saw and spoke to each other often. About the only family disagreements we ever had were about whether the Red Sox or the Yankees were the best baseball team (I, of course, sided with Pop rooting on the Yankees). “Miss you,” we’d say to each other on the phone, even if it had only been a week since we’d seen them.

When Nana got sick and passed away, there was a gaping hole left in our lives. I remember standing at the gravesite, staring at the ground where she was laid to rest, and thinking it impossible that someone who had been so vibrant, so full of life and joy even a few short months ago could now, so suddenly, no longer be with us.

In Jewish tradition, the tombstone isn’t placed at the grave until a year later. My dad and my aunt struggled to come up with a message to write on it. What words could possibly sum up what we were all feeling? They finally chose two simple words: “Miss You.”

The evening my dad and aunt chose the message, my dad, my mom, and my older sister went for Chinese food. At the end of the meal, the check came along with three fortune cookies. Dad chose one and opened it. Just one of your run-of-the-mill fortunes. Then he turned it over. Along with some lucky numbers was a Chinese word, with the English translation:

“Miss You.”

Those words comforted all of us. The message we wanted to send to Nana, seemed to have already been received.

It was a little over a year later that Pop too, passed away, shortly after his 90th birthday. We wished that he also could send us some message. But weeks passed, and we hadn’t gotten one.

One day, late that summer, my aunt, uncle, and my cousins went to a Red Sox/Yankees game, the first baseball game they’d all been to since Pop died. When they sat down, my aunt noticed that the family of die-hard Red Sox fans who usually sat in the row in front of them wasn’t there. Instead, it was four guys. Three of them wore Red Sox caps, so she knew they were rooting for the right team. One guy though, had a different cap on. She couldn’t see what it was.

Around the fourth inning, my aunt saw the fourth guy turn around. And she looked at his hat. Stitched onto the front was an oval patch with three letters inside. MBH. Pop’s initials.

My aunt didn’t ask the man what it stood for. She knew what it meant to her, and that was enough. Pop wouldn’t have missed a Red Sox/Yankees game when he was alive. And she was sure that he wasn’t missing one now.

I don't doubt that these things were placed in our way for us to find. We found them when we needed comfort the most. And that happens more often than you would think. Maybe you’ve even had an experience like that yourself. I’d love to hear your story. Please share it with us at mw@guideposts.org.
 

Adam Hunter is a senior editor for Guideposts magazine and Managing Editor for Mysterious Ways. He’s edited Mysterious Ways since October 2006, and is continually amazed by the astounding stories shared by readers. Follow him on Twitter: @MMysteriousWays

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Your Comments (6)

Dear Mr. Grinnan,

I don't know if this email will even reach you, since I couldn't find an email address for you, but I was compelled to write to you regarding your article at the beginning of this month's (April) issue of Guideposts. I do not expect you to reply to this email, but I had to send it anyway. I have been a Guideposts subscriber for as long as I can remember, and my mother before me.

At the end of your article regarding your "Dartmouth Dream," you asked if anyone could explain your dream. In answer to that question, I do not feel that your dream was "baffling" or "mysterious." God gave you an obvious and unmistakable "SIGN" or "GUIDEPOST" as it were. All you remember about your dream is the "Dartmouth College Logo," so that's all you needed to remember. I believe it was even significant that your dog, Millie, awoke you from your physical sleep.

When the 2 young men from Dartmouth later crossed your path, you saw the Dartmouth Logo, which should have been like a neon sign saying "Hey, Edward, these are the 2 young men I want you to talk to. It should have been obvious that God was giving you a sign that you were to speak to these 2 young men and tell them that He allowed your paths to cross so that they could know that God loves them and that He gave you, Editor-in-Chief of Guideposts magazine, a dream that would prove that to them. God even opened the door for this encounter by allowing you to "nearly collide" with them and you said they "fell on your dog," giving you the perfect opportunity to speak to them in a non-threatening way.

God always works on both ends of an issue, but we have to be spiritually alert enough to know what He is trying to tell us. Since these young men were obviously out carousing until all hours of the night, they were probably trying their best to fill the empty spot in their lives that only God can fill. They were searching for meaning and purpose for their lives. I hope you were able to convey to them how involved God is in our lives.

I pray that God will continue to use you to bring hope and truth into the lives of your readers as well as those you personally encounter.

God bless you,

Brenda Mays

Brenda,
At first I thought that too. But I have a feeling Edward Grinnan assessed the situation and had a sense about how he was to proceed with these chaps.
Maybe they were simply angels sent as a way for God to convey to Edward that they were a confirmation that he had indeed heard God's voice that morning. Maybe God was just teaching Edward how to hear His voice.
But your instinct to pray for them or minister to them is also very valid. Yet, I think from reading here long enough that Edward probably had a handle on how to interact with those young men in that moment.
Maybe they were just messengers sent to convey a confirmation that God was indeed speaking to Edward that day, and that Edward was hearing correctly :).

I really enjoy Guideposts and Mysterious Ways. I share these with a 94 year old lady. I was disappointed the new Mysterious Ways was not in large print. Does it come in large print? If so please send me that one. Thank you and God bless.

Hello Yvonne. Thanks for being a loyal reader and for sharing the hope and inspiration our magazines bring with others. Unfortunately, Mysterious Ways is not currently available in a large-print edition. That could change at some future date, but it's not currently in the works.

Hi, I just tried to download, Messages from the Hereafter, and I never did get it to happen. How do I go about getting this? johnjellison@cox.net

Hi John. Please contact our customer service department at (800) 431-2344 or by email at csinquiry@guideposts.org. They will be able to assist you.