Mysterious Ways: A Picture of Hope

Even with my doubts, I knew my best friend would always be with me…

By John DeFiora, Asbury Park, New Jersey

Rows of framed images lined the walls of the studio. It was the final photography show before my graduation from The Art Institute of Philadelphia. Dozens of students and their families had come to view our work, but one important person was missing: my friend, Kevin.

I stared at the series of street photography that we’d collaborated on, and still couldn’t believe he was gone. It would’ve been comforting to think that he was in heaven making people laugh at the pearly gates. But I wasn’t sure about any of that stuff. I’ve never been a religious sort of guy.

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Kevin and I met during our first year at the Institute, and quickly bonded over our love for photography…and our antics in and out of the classroom. We were known to de-stress by starting rubber band wars in the hallway.

The second I wasn’t looking–ZIP! Rubber band to the back of the head. On weekends we’d often ride the train to random stops in Pennsylvania, just to have an adventure. Some of our best photos were taken during those trips.

Then, two weeks before graduation, Kevin died in a rock-climbing accident. On the drive to the cemetery, it hadn’t hit me yet. But when I heard the chaplain speaking at his graveside, and looked at his family and friends sobbing…

I couldn’t hold it together anymore. Not wanting to make a scene, I used what little strength I had and walked away from everyone to cry. 

When I gathered myself, I headed back. After the service ended, a mutual friend of ours came up to me. “I heard Kevin whisper into my ear,” she said. 

“What?” I asked. “Kevin?”

“I know it sounds crazy,” she said, “but he told me, ‘Tell John, it will be okay.’” 

Not being one for certain beliefs, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. 

Now, here at our final photography showing, I started talking with some classmates, looking at their work. Out of nowhere, a print fell off the wall and crashed to the ground. Everyone turned to look. 

The photograph was Kevin’s.

And even with my doubts I knew, inexplicably, that Kevin had something to do with it. Just like a rubber band to the back of the head, it got my attention.

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Your Comments (11)

Yes, He truly was by your side and sent you a message to say he is fine. I believe our loved ones send messages now and then when needed. Blessings of peace and strength to you. AMEN

Thank you for the inspiring story. To live the Bible and study God's word means a wonderful promise.."May the the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13.

Thanks for sharing your story. I do believe Kevin was with you on that day. God has things like this happen for a reason.

Not having ever died yet, I would be foolish and evil to take away one's hope for the afterlife! I live the Bible and "The Word!" But every religion cherry picks what they want from the Bible to argue their point! "Christians" can point precisely
In the Bible to passages which support their beliefs and Catholics can easily do the same! Unless you have years of theology under your belt and are objective, your "religion" will determine what and how you think. We are all just passing thru this valley of tears...

I am a believer in Jesus Christ and I have a friend that is an atheist. I told him that if when I die I find out I am wrong ,I will have lost nothing because I have enjoyed my Christian walk on Earth, If when He dies and He finds out he was wrong(and he realizes that Jesus really was who he said he was) then he will have lost everything.We are passing thru this valley of tears but Jesus made a way for us to go to Heaven by paying for our sins.My prayer is that you find your way.God loves and I do too.

I want to clarify that Catholics are Christians. All Christians were, in essence, Roman Catholic until the East-West schism of 1054, when Orthodox Christianity separated from the papal supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation did not begin until 1517, when Martin Luther, a German monk and Catholic priest, published The Ninety-Five Theses. Lutheranism formed when Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.

In the Bible Jesus told the story of the poor man, Lazarus and the rich man. Then first Lazarus died and afterwards the rich man died suddenly. As the rich man was terminted in hell he looked over through the division into heaven, and seen Abraham and Lazarus together there. Jesus told this parable and he would not have mislead people to believe our spirit doesn't go to heaven immediately if it where not so.
Another example that when we die our soul goes immediately to heaven is when Jesus was dying on the cross between two thieves. He told the repentant thief "today we will be in paradise together."
It is during the rapture that the dead bodies will meet Jesus first and then the living Christians . Our bodies,and spirits,will be United at that time and Jesus will take us to heaven.

When you die there's no going to heaven until jesus comes back read the bible

Manuel, you need to read Luke 23:43. There is no error in the punctuation of that sentence. How do you explain Moses and Elijah being present with Jesus at the Transfiguration? And if you cite Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, you need to read all of Ecclesiastes 9 to understand what the author is really discussing.

Here is the link to an excellent article demonstrating how the heretical belief in soul-sleep is not supported by the Bible:

http://www.letusreason.org/doct15.htm

To be absent from the body is to be present with Christ

Patricia Wells, I liked all of the comments from the ones who also believe that those of us who are true Christians will be with with Jesus when we die, but I LOVED your comment. It was perfect. But then, anything that comes from the Bible is perfect. Thank you for sharing that verse with us, it was just what the conversation needed.