How a 'Mysterious Ways' Made a Difference

Assistant editor Daniel Kessel shares a reader’s testimonial to the power of these stories.

by - Posted on Aug 11, 2014

Assistant editor Daniel Kessel

Today’s guest blogger is assistant editor Daniel Kessel.

I’m always curious about what happens to Mysterious Ways stories after we finish editing them and send them off to press. How do these stories go on to impact our readers’ lives? The letters and emails we receive about Mysterious Ways stories reaching someone at just the right time give me chills.

Like this one from Christopher Sheckler of Madison, Wisconsin. His grandmother, Mary Lou Reed, is a longtime Guideposts contributor. She once wrote a Mysterious Ways story about the reassuring sign she received from her late husband.

As it turns out, that story ended up making a big difference for someone close to Christopher’s heart. Here’s what he wrote in to say:

"My girlfriend, Marilyn, had just lost her father, George, after a long illness. Everyone in her family was devastated, especially her mother. We bought plane tickets to be with them in Shreveport, Louisiana, the following evening.

On our way to the airport, we stopped at my grandmother’s house. She’d never met Marilyn’s mother, but she still wanted to help. 'I just want to give your mother a big hug,' she said, wrapping Marilyn in her arms. 'Please tell your mother she’s in my prayers. It’s the only thing I can do being so far away.'

As we pulled away, a lump rose up in my throat. She knew exactly what Marilyn’s mother was going through–my grandmother was a widow too, and after 44 years of marriage, she still grieved for my late grandfather. His name was also George.

That night at Marilyn’s mother’s house, friends and relatives rallied around the grieving family. We sat at the table, several conversations going on at once, visiting and sharing family stories with laughter and tears.

At one point, Marilyn’s mother left the room and came back with a magazine. 'A friend sent me this because there’s a story from a woman who lost her husband,' she said. 'This story helped me so much.' She thumbed through the pages, found her place and read out loud.

George… Married 44 years… My ears perked up. Something about the story sounded oddly familiar. Worked in industrial lighting all his life… Wait a minute!

'Can I see the magazine?' I asked. Marilyn’s mom passed it to me. There in print was my grandmother’s name, Mary Lou Reed–this was the Mysterious Ways story she’d published in Guideposts magazine. Marilyn’s mom had no idea the George in the story was my grandfather.

My grandmother had been able to help Marilyn’s mother after all–with a story that was just as comforting as a hug."

Has a Mysterious Ways story ever found you when you needed it most? We’d love to hear about it.

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