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Mysterious Ways: Follow the Cigar

A grieving woman's faith is restored when she receives a helping hand from her departed father.

Groucho Marx with a cigar in his mouth

Dad loved a good cigar. He would walk around all day with one hanging from his mouth, looking like Groucho Marx. He had Groucho’s sense of humor too, always quick with a joke or a prank.

When he passed away, the stories friends and relatives told at the funeral highlighted how much of a character he was.

My favorite story? It happened on a trip with some of Dad’s friends years ago, a four-hour drive from home. When they arrived at their destination, Dad discovered his half-chewed cigar on top of the rear bumper—he had left it there while packing up the trunk.

“I was wondering where I’d put that,” he said. Then, to everyone’s horror, he stuck the cigar back into his mouth!

I chuckled at that one. But in the days after the funeral, as Dad’s absence took hold, I found it a struggle to smile. I was in such a haze of grief, I couldn’t seem to focus on anything.

One snowy winter morning, I stacked up the photographs of Dad that we’d displayed at his funeral, intending to take them over to my stepmother’s place. I stared at one photo of Dad chewing on his cigar, happiness lighting up his face.

I wish I knew he was happy now, I thought. I set the pictures down on the roof of my car while I loaded in a flower arrangement to take to Dad’s grave.

I had so many errands that day, I never made it to my stepmother’s. I was in bed that night when I bolted upright. I’d never put those photos in the car! I’d just driven off with them still on the roof. They were probably all over the road!

In a panic, I woke my husband. We got dressed and searched our street with a flashlight. Somehow, we located all of the photos but one.

The next morning we drove around the neighborhood, scanning the side of the main thoroughfare for that last missing picture. “Stop!” I said. “That’s got to be it…”

We got out and checked. Sure enough, the glossy photo of Dad’s happy face stared up at me from the cold, wet ground. Undamaged, incredibly. But it was something else that brought a smile to my face.

Pointing to the photo was a cigar—its end burned and ready to be chewed.

Download your FREE ebook, Mysterious Ways: 9 Inspiring Stories that Show Evidence of God's Love and God's Grace

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