The Blessing of a Yom Kippur Phone Call

A reader helps brighten a tough week at Mysterious Ways.

Posted in , Sep 24, 2015

The blessing of a Yom Kippur phone call

On the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Judgment, when the Jewish people believe God decides who shall be blessed with happy, healthy days ahead, I found myself deeply depressed. It’s been a tough few weeks at the office.

My good friend and mentor, Rick Hamlin, is in the hospital, dealing with a serious medical problem. One of our hardest-working editors, Daniel Kessel, found a great new job elsewhere, and he’ll be difficult to replace. I received two of the nastiest emails I’ve ever received, which didn’t help my mood.

Then I got a phone call.

It was from Dennis O’Keefe, a reader and the author of the Mysterious Ways story, A Not-So-False Alarm, in our May issue of Guideposts. I hadn’t had any communication with him since the story was published. He noticed that Edward had written the Editor’s Note for the August/September issue of Mysterious Ways and became concerned about me. “I thought perhaps something had happened to you,” he said. “Are you all right?”

I’ve always considered our readers and contributors to be part of the Guideposts family. On Mondays we meet to pray for the thousands of prayer requests you send us. On Wednesdays, we discuss which of your stories we might be able to share and in which magazine.

On Saturdays, we highlight great comments and letters we’ve received from our readers on Facebook. But to have a reader reach out like this, in a very personal way, just when I needed a pick-me-up? His phone call touched me more than he could possibly know.

On Yom Kippur, God asks the same question. “Are you all right?” We’re forced to reflect on the past year, repent for our failings and let go of the things holding us back. We’re reminded that though it may sometimes seem no one’s concerned about what we do, how we feel, or what’s been going on in our lives, that’s not true. Someone is watching us. Someone cares. And he reaches out when we need to hear him most.

Please keep Rick and his family in your prayers. May all of you and those you love be inscribed in the book of life for a blessed year ahead.

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