Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Saturday, April 1

Graveyard Mystery

Somewhere between the time I started thinking about writing a Lenten devotion and the time I actually sat down to do it, the theme of “God's mysteries” had morphed in my brain into “God’s miracles.” I finally realized the Lenten topic was mysteries. After thought and consultation, I decided that miracles are mysteries, so I was on solid ground.

My mystery/miracle occurred in a cemetery. Gretchen, our daughter, was probably around two years old, and we were making our pilgrimage to the cemetery to decorate grave sites for the upcoming Memorial Day. I am not overly faithful about this task, so I was feeling a degree of guilt. A few aunts and uncles and my older brother are all buried in this place. My brother had passed away from pneumonia when he was only a year old. My mother never forgave herself for not knowing how very ill he was, and she made me wear a sweater every time I left the house until I was old enough to protest. She wasn't taking any chances.

We arrived at our destination and began unloading the flowers. We wandered about for a bit admiring the flowers that others had placed. I decided we should get started before Gretchen grew weary of admiring flowers , so we began searching for my brother’s grave. Somehow I got turned around and was getting discouraged because I couldn't locate it. Then I noticed a man standing under a tree wearing a three-piece brown suit. I thought he looked official, so I asked if he could direct us to my brother's resting place. He knew exactly where Bruce was buried and began giving me detailed directions. I thanked him, and we set off.

After I had placed the flowers, I stopped a minute, thinking I would find the man so I could once again tell him how grateful I was for his help, but he was not anywhere nearby. I began to mentally examine our encounter with him, and right off I wondered about his attire. It seemed strange for a man to be standing in a cemetery wearing a three-piece suit. And how on earth did he know where one tiny baby was buried? How was he able to give us such a detailed path. I finally reached the only probable conclusion - that the man was an angel.

Later in the retelling of my encounter, some said he was hired by the cemetery to direct lost mourners. But he had no map; how did he know? Others said I was a person not well grounded in reality and often engaged in thoughts of fantasy. This is not entirely untrue, however, I stay firm in my first identification of the kindly man in the brown three-piece suit.

These are quotes from the book Small Miracles. Our good intentions are powerful enough to set the wheel of miracles in motion;” and, "When we pray, we are speaking to God. When a miracle happens, God is speaking to us."

Suzanne Koch, one who believes in mysterious miracles

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