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Mysterious Ways: More Than a Sign

I longed for evidence of God's love to comfort my grieving heart.

By Frances Eiland, Gadsden, Alabama

WEB EXCLUSIVE

I sat on the front porch, my eyes welling with tears. It had been a month since my husband, Joe, passed away. We were married for 67 years. In all that time, Joe hardly ever missed a day sitting out here chatting with me—it’s where I loved to watch the clouds drift by. But, really, Joe’s favorite spot was the couch in the back of our house. From there he could see the freight trains barrel through on the tracks just outside our yard. I could still hear his voice, “Look, Frances! Here comes another!” he’d say. Then he’d count the box cars aloud.

Ever since he died, I’d sit here hoping to get a sign from God. I know I shouldn’t doubt you, Lord, I prayed. But please let me know my Joe is with you. My heart is broken.

Today I looked and looked. It might sound silly but I thought maybe I’d see Joe’s name spelled out in the clouds—a sign I couldn’t miss. Then my heart would finally be comforted. But with each passing puffy cloud, my hope faded.

Finally, I went inside and collapsed on the sofa, in Joe’s favorite spot. His magazines were still stacked on the side table. I reached for one. Suddenly, the ground shook. A freight train!

I stood up and peered out the window to watch it roar past. Oh, Joe would’ve really liked this one, I thought, counting the colorful box cars that trailed behind.

Just then, I spotted something. A name. Not spelled out in the clouds, but written in bold, black letters on the side of one of the box cars: JOSEPH.