by Rakeem Nelson
Do our loved ones send us messages from beyond? Click through our gallery of heavenly signs and let us know what you think in the comments below. For more inspiring stories, subscribe to Mysterious Ways magazine.
“It doesn’t get any better than this." That’s what my friend Rich used to say. We worked together for 15 years at an engineering firm. A few years ago, Rich was diagnosed with advanced-stage prostate cancer. It was tough to see Rich, who’d been so quick with a joke, in so much pain. He passed away at the age of 62. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was close to God when he died.
Days after Rich’s funeral, our coworker Fred pulled me aside. ‘You’ll never believe what happened,’ he said. He showed me the crossword puzzle he was working on. The clue to 61 Across was "It doesn’t get any better than this." Fred and I tried to solve it with no luck. Was it a sign from Rich? I didn’t get an answer until a week later, when Fred brought in the puzzle key. "Look at the answer to 61 Across," he said. Ten letters. Three words. ‘IM IN HEAVEN.’”—Rick Tacy
I hadn’t seen my brother in 15 years. Bob lived in Indiana; I lived in Oklahoma. Both of us busy with life. We called each other on birthdays, holidays and ‘bad weather’ days. He was always excited to update me on his family and garden. I was eager to see him when I visited the summer of 2016. But, once again, life got in the way. I didn’t make it.
The day before that Thanksgiving, Bob’s daughter called. He was in the hospital. Bob hadn’t been feeling well, I knew that. He had diabetes, and his kidney function was poor. But he’d always downplayed his health. Three days later, I got another call: Bob was gone. Weeks passed. I wrestled with myself. If only I’d gotten a chance to see him one last time. The least I could do was look at the garden he’d talked so much about. I pulled up Google Earth on my computer and entered Bob’s address. The image of a brick house came up, the garage door open. A man in shorts and a white T-shirt was standing in the garage. I recognized him right away. My brother had managed to say goodbye after all.—Olga Pollock
I run a photography business with my husband, Chip. Last spring, we did an engagement shoot with a couple, John and Courtney. John told us that his dad had died a few years earlier. "If only he were here," John said. "He would’ve loved this." As Chip and I finished the last setup, the sky opened up and it started to pour. We raced back to our cars. I’d almost reached the parking lot when I heard Chip say, "Turn around—look at that!" I spun around. There, right before my eyes, was a huge rainbow.
In all our years of doing shoots, Chip and I had never seen anything like it. I snapped a photo of the happy couple in front of the rainbow just before it faded away. "I’m so glad you told me to turn around," I said to Chip. "Otherwise, we would’ve missed it!" "I didn’t say a thing," he said. "You told me to turn around." Courtney and John had heard a voice too. But whose? I had my suspicions. So did John.—Nikki Notare
When I was growing up, my home was a symphony of coded bells, dings and whistles. All courtesy of my dad, Harold Chapman, a World War II vet, Navy man and engineer, who loved to dream up gadgets and gizmos for the house. Later in life, my brother set up a phone system that announced the name of whoever was calling. Dad absolutely loved that! Hours after Dad died, my brother and Mom were sitting in the kitchen when the phone spoke. "You have a call from Chapman, Harold...." Mom picked it up, only to hear silence. We all knew it was from Dad, one last alert to us.—Glenn H. Chapman
My husband, Lance, and our son, Braden, bonded over two things—a passion for the outdoors and the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team. Even though we lived in Tennessee, Lance had grown up in Kentucky and remained devoted to the team. So much so that when Braden was born, Lance insisted our baby leave the hospital in a Wildcats sweater and beanie.
In 2009, when Braden was 12, Lance died of a heart attack. It took Braden a long time to return to the activities he’d once shared with his dad. Even watching the Wildcats was too painful. Right before the sixth anniversary of Lance’s death, Braden went on a trip to a 600-acre farm in Tennessee, several hours away. The place was beautiful, isolated, exactly the kind of wilderness our son had always enjoyed with his dad. It didn’t feel the same without him. Until Braden spotted something in the middle of a flooded cornfield: A Kentucky Wildcats basketball.—Donna Nace-Hopper
Watch this video to learn how these moths brought comfort and hope to one grieving family.
My daughter Donna always loved the story of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who as a little girl looked into the nighttime sky and exclaimed to her father, ‘Look, Papa, my name is written in Heaven.’ After Donna died suddenly at the age of 27, one of her close friends, Linda, shared a photo with me. Linda had been in Florida on vacation when news of Donna’s death reached her. Distraught, she walked the beach with a charm in the shape of a dalet, the Hebrew letter ‘D,’ around her neck—a souvenir she’d just picked out for my daughter.
Linda snapped a few photos of the setting sun and clouds above, a view that comforted her. It was only after Linda returned home that she noticed something in the photos: a cloud in the evening sky in the shape of a dalet. Donna’s name was written in the heavens.—Rosemary Kuhn
My husband and I were married 46 years before he passed away. I woke up one morning just plain missing him and headed to the living room. That’s when I saw this on my front door. A perfect memorial candle, formed as the morning light streamed through the blinds.—Connie Schultz
Lawrence Anthony was a beloved wildlife conservationist from South Africa, known throughout the world as “The Elephant Whisperer”—a nickname he earned after adopting and rehabilitating a herd of wild elephants on his game reserve, Thula Thula. In 2012, Lawrence suffered a fatal heart attack. Two days later, his wife, Françoise Malby Anthony, witnessed something incredible. Read Françoise's inspiring story.
I couldn’t stop thinking of Grampy on the drive to my niece Eliyah’s Bat Mitzvah. Eliyah was named after my big-hearted grandfather, who died in 1998, five years before she was born. They had the same birthday—today, March 11. I was sad that Grampy wasn’t here to witness such an important religious milestone in his great-granddaughter’s life.
Halfway down the 405, 'In Color,' by the country-music singer Jamey Johnson, came on the radio. That was the one song that always reminded me of Grampy, a song about a man like him—growing up in the Great Depression, serving in World War II. I sang along, choking on the words. Suddenly traffic on the highway ground to a halt. I glanced out the window at the sky above. Two clouds hung directly in front of me, one shaped like a big heart, the other like a little heart. As the lyrics of the song say, 'a picture’s worth a thousand words'—Grampy’s big heart was with Eliyah on her special day.—Shana Meyerson
On a sunny April day in Waterlooville, England, Marie Robinson visited her son Jack’s gravesite to mark the anniversary of his death. Jack had been just four years old when he’d died of an inoperable brain tumor in 2014. “I got to the cemetery and was feeling quite down,” Marie told ITV. “I said, ‘Come on, Jack. Show Mummy a sign that you are there.’”
Marie sat on the grass beside Jack’s grave. Almost immediately, a red robin landed on her foot. Amazed, Marie snapped a photo of it with her phone. The bird flew away. But when Marie put out her hand, the robin came back and even sat on her fingertip. Marie caught the whole thing on video. “He was very brazen,” Marie said of the robin, “looking straight into the camera.” It was just the sign Marie needed—a visit by her son Jack’s favorite bird.
A grieving mother is comforted by a photograph she never knew existed. Read Lorraine Standish's inspiring story.
Explore the collection of slideshows and discover inspirational quotes, beautiful photos, and powerful stories of hope.