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A Collection of Mysterious Stories About the 5 Senses

Whether it’s the taste of a comfort meal, or the feeling of a heavenly hand, these sensory accounts are nothing short of miraculous.

Abstract art of a human face; Illustration By Sandra Dionisi

My Golden Sign Rhea Sampson from Menlo Park, California

The vet looked concerned as she checked my puppy’s heart. “Shannon has a heart murmur,” she said. “It can be a serious problem if she doesn’t outgrow it.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Shannon seemed like a healthy golden retriever puppy—energetic and full of life. I made a follow-up appointment in two months to make sure the heart murmur hadn’t worsened. In the meantime, all I could do was worry. Please, God, I prayed one night. Send me a sign that Shannon will be okay.

The next day, I got into my car to run some errands and spotted something on my dashboard. It was a miniature golden dragonfly! How did that get in here? I thought. I picked it up and removed it from the car, but during my drive, I couldn’t get its image out of my head. It had been so beautiful, glistening in the morning light. It was the exact color of Shannon’s fur in the sunshine. After that, every time I started to get anxious about Shannon’s health, that gorgeous golden dragonfly would reappear in my mind’s eye and my fears would subside. Had this dragonfly been my sign?

I soon got my answer. At Shannon’s follow-up appointment, the vet told me that her heart murmur was gone! She is 11 years old now and still happy and healthy.

A Taste of Trout Aaron Stadel from Redfield, South Dakota

I’d been craving the delicious taste of fresh-caught trout ever since my wife, Grace, and I moved to Spearfish, South Dakota, from North Dakota. I’d loved eating fish growing up; it was my comfort food. It would be nice to have it while we were settling into a new place.

Grace and I decided to get our fishing licenses and try to catch some ourselves. I’d fished as a kid, but never for trout. Besides, I thought, how hard can trout fishing be?

Harder than I expected. We drove to a lake that was supposed to have lots of trout. I cast my line and waited. Nothing bit. Grace and I fished all morning but ended up going back to our new home empty-handed.

A few days later, we went for a walk in the park near our house. We saw a fellow angler coming up the hill. He held a stringer full of freshly caught trout. He came right up to me. “Want some of these trout?” he asked. “I have plenty.”

I happily accepted. We fried some up for dinner that night, and it tasted delicious. The perfect comfort meal, divinely provided.

The Sound of Music Mary Jane Matterness from Mountville, Pennsylvania

One Saturday morning, I was feeling One particularly anxious about family situations out of my control. I needed spiritual comfort. I thought some inspirational music might help. I put on my favorite CD and settled into my rocking chair. The first hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” was the best. It always quieted my mind. Soon I was so relaxed that I drifted off to sleep.

I woke up 10 minutes later to hear “How Great Thou Art” still playing. That’s strange, I thought. Was the CD player set on repeat? I checked. It wasn’t. I got up to continue my day. The moment of quiet had helped a bit, but I still felt anxious, so I decided to leave the music playing and do some chores. As soon as “How Great Thou Art” finished, it started again. What in the world? I checked the CD player again, but there was nothing wrong with it.

For the next two mornings, “How Great Thou Art” was the only song that played on the CD. It never felt repetitive, though. Every time the hymn began again, I felt a wave of peace. By the third day, I wasn’t anxious anymore. But what was wrong with that CD? I removed it and checked for scratches. Nothing. I put it back in and hit PLAY. After “How Great Thou Art,” it played the next song. The CD worked normally again every time after that.

Heaven-Scent Diane Stark from Brazil, Indiana

The stink hit me as soon as I opened my parents’ front door. I stopped in my tracks and struggled not to cry. Obviously, I needed to investigate and then clean up whatever was causing the odor, but just the thought was overwhelming.

I’d been struggling with depression for months, ever since my husband had left and I’d had to take my kids and move back home. Even with Mom and Dad’s support, the adjustment to being a single mother wasn’t an easy one. A bad smell felt like more than I could bear.

I started in the kitchen, standing by the refrigerator and sniffing. “God, where are you? Please show me that you haven’t forgotten about me.”

The kitchen smelled fine. I moved into the hallway and breathed deeply. The odor seemed to be coming from the coat closet. Bracing myself, I opened the door and rummaged around.

It didn’t take long to find the source of the smell: my four-year-old daughter’s lunch box. More specifically, the moldy, half-eaten turkey sandwich sitting inside it. She must have tossed the box in the closet with her jacket on her last day of preschool. More than two weeks ago.

I brought the lunch box to the kitchen to clean it. I threw out the sandwich. Underneath I discovered a note from my daughter’s teacher to me. “I know things are hard for you right now,” she wrote, “but please know that God loves you and has a plan for your life. No matter how things seem, you are never alone.”

Saving Touch Linda E. Patterson-Shields from Lexington, North Carolina

After a bad fall eight years ago, I have been unable to put weight on my legs. I’ve had to relearn how to do everything in a wheelchair. I have family nearby who check on me, but I live alone. Though I enjoy my independence, I always worry about what might happen if I fall and need help.

One afternoon, I was organizing some papers on my desk. A folder fluttered to the floor. I leaned down to pick it up. I overshot how far I could reach. I felt myself start to fall out of my wheelchair. It was like it was happening in slow motion.

“God, help me!” I shouted.

Suddenly, I felt something wrap around my midsection. An arm, gentle but firm. I couldn’t see it, but I distinctly felt its touch. It caught me and lifted me away from the floor. Then I felt another arm on my back, guiding me safely into my wheelchair.

It took me a moment to process what had happened. I hardly believed it, but I know what I felt. To this day, I can still recall the sensation of a heavenly hand, catching me as I fell.

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