Mysterious Holiday Blessings

These inspiring stories, from the staff of Mysterious Ways magazine, remind us all that miracles most definitely occur during the holiday season.

Posted in , Nov 25, 2016

Adam's last-minute menorah

​Edward Grinnan, Editorial Director
Edward with his mom and his wife, JuleeChristmas 1999, my family took the festivities to Mom, since her Alzheimer’s had gotten so bad. On the car ride over to her care facility, I asked my wife, “Does Mom even know it’s Christmas?” It’d been a while since I’d last seen my feisty, independent mom. She’d barely talked the past few months. We arrived at Mom’s and helped her open her gifts.

She paid attention to just one. A “12 Days of Christmas” pop-up book from my cousin. Mom turned to the first page and, to our great surprise, began to read. The words were a bit off—three French hens turned into three French houses—but she kept going. She faltered at Day 10.

I jumped in to help her finish. Mom sat up straight in her wheelchair, her eyes flashing. “Are you going to let me do this by myself?” she snapped. For a minute, I saw my mom again. Right then, we all knew it was Christmas.


Susan Downs, Contributing Editor
On December 19, 1984, our soon-to-be adopted baby girl, Kimberly, was scheduled to arrive at JFK Airport from South Korea. I woke up a bundle of nerves. My husband and I had encountered one obstacle after another in the adoption process. Some days I wondered if we were really meant to be Kimberly’s parents.

I opened my devotional book, hoping to find peace. I was a contributor to the book and the devotional for the day happened to be one I’d written almost two years earlier, long before we ever considered adoption. It described a newspaper account of a family who welcomed a long-awaited child from Asia at the airport—just as my husband and I were about to do! Nerves gone! I couldn’t wait for Kimberly’s first Christmas with us.

Adam Hunter, Managing Editor
The first night of Hanukkah, my fiancée and I had no menorah to light. I went to the address I’d found of a Judaica shop. It was now a gym. No menorahs, just muscle heads. Dejected, I headed for the subway. Soft light spilling from the windows of a Jewish women’s college caught my eye. Inside were tables filled with lit menorahs.

“Happy Hanukkah!” said a student standing outside. I asked if she knew where I might find a menorah. “Ours are all lit, but they sell them at the pharmacy on the corner,” she told me.

I ran into the pharmacy. Searched fruitlessly. Then, to my surprise, the student walked in and spoke to a stock boy. “The Jewish Christmas tree thing? Aisle ten,” he answered.

The student spotted me. “Thought you still might need some help.”

In the back we found a solitary menorah. My fiancée and I lit it that night. My brother-in-law uses it today. A small miracle, to help us celebrate a big one.


Diana Aydin, Editor
Young Diana, kicking up her heels’Twas a few days before Christmas. I was one and a half. My sisters were asleep and I was sitting with my parents by the Christmas tree. “What do you want from Santa this year?” my dad asked my mom. She didn’t have to think too hard. I’d been born with a dislocated hip, and for the first year of my life I’d worn a cast from my knees to my waist. The cast had come off in October, but I still hadn’t taken those first steps.

“I just want Diana to walk,” my mom said. At those words, I got up from my mom’s lap and walked over to my dad. It was, as my mom reminds me every December, her favorite Christmas gift.

Rick Hamlin, Senior Contributing Editor
Last September, I spent two weeks in the hospital with a serious lung infection. Singing was my passion. After the illness, though, my voice was not tuneful at all. I’d promised our readers I’d sing a song a day during Advent. That seemed unlikely now.

At home, while I recovered, I sat at the piano every day to practice “Immanuel,” by Michael Card, a song that the composer Alisa Bair and I planned to record in November, but my voice was still scratchy and hollow. It finally came time for Alisa and me to meet. She played a few chords on the piano. I opened my mouth, expecting to croak like a frog. But no. It was as if my voice had walked back into the room. I could sing again!

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