Mysterious Ways: Divine Dialing

A brother and sister are reunited via telephone—but who called whom?

by
- Posted on Jan 31, 2013

Artist's rendering of cell phone tower

The telephone jolted me awake. It took me a few seconds to gather my wits. I’d been sitting at my computer, watching an episode of my favorite show, CSI, but I must’ve dozed off.

I glanced at the clock. Midnight. Who would be calling me at this hour? I wondered.

I grabbed the phone. “Hello?” I said. Too late. The caller had hung up.

According to the caller ID, it was a Pennsylvania cell phone, one I didn’t recognize. Probably a misdial.

I sat back down in my chair to shut off my computer, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that call. Should I call back? I wondered.

I decided to look in my address book to see if the number belonged to anyone I knew.

Finally, I found a match—my brother, Pete.

Pete and I hadn’t spoken in almost a year. Not since our mother’s funeral.

There hadn’t been any falling out between us, but we’d never been that close, and our lives were so different.

My brother was a long-haul truck driver, and loved being on the road, traveling all throughout the Northeast. I was more of a homebody, living in Jacksonville and pursuing a journalism degree.

“Call your brother,” Mom always urged me. “Keep in touch. You know he’s the only brother you have.”

“Well, what about him?” I’d respond. “He can call me too.”

“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” was Mom’s retort.

Mom had died exactly one year ago, I realized. Maybe that’s why my brother was calling? Tentatively, I dialed the number.

My brother picked up right away. “Oh, I was just going to call you back,” he said.

“Call me back?” I asked. “But I didn’t call you, you called me!”

“That’s impossible,” Pete insisted. “I stepped away from the truck for a moment and left the phone on my seat. When I came back, I had a missed call from you.”

We had a lot of catching up to do. We talked for a long time... so long that Pete’s arm fell asleep holding the phone to his ear. “I have to go,” he said, “but I’m glad we spoke.”

“So am I,” I said. “You’re the only brother I’ve got. Let’s talk more often.”

And we have. It’s what Mom would have called for.

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