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God’s Love Brought Comfort Through Words With Friends

Was the unexpected message in a popular game an expression of God’s love?

Mysterious Ways blogger Adam Hunter

Happy New Year! After a week’s vacation, I’m back to share more Mysterious Ways stories with you. I asked you to keep your eyes open for little miracles and wonders this holiday season; as it turns out, I discovered one on my own.

My aunt, uncle and two cousins from Boston joined my family in New Jersey this Christmas Eve for a traditional “Jewish Christmas,” Chinese food and the lighting of the Chanukah candles.

We hadn’t all gathered together for a while. When my grandparents Morey and Rita were alive, we used to travel together every summer. I wrote on this blog a few years ago about my Boston family and the messages of comfort we received after Pop and Nana were no longer with us.

At one point on Christmas Eve, sitting in my parents’ living room, we all pulled out our cell phones, noting how conformist we all were—all of us had iPhones. Naturally, the next topic of discussion was what apps we had. “You ever play Words With Friends?” I asked my aunt. The Scrabble-like game had become my recent addiction.

“I do,” my aunt said. “And that reminds me of something that happened to me recently …”

My aunt was playing an online Scrabble game one day when my dad called. They started talking about Pop and Nana. Even though it’s been a couple of years since they passed away, not a day goes by when they don’t think of them. My aunt remarked that she could still picture Pop’s face so well when she closed her eyes. “But mom’s face I have trouble remembering without a picture,” she said. Nana had spent much of her last year of life in and out of hospitals, and my aunt feared she was forgetting the vibrant, joyful woman that her mom had always been. “She would be mad at me for that,” my aunt said.

Just after hanging up the phone, my aunt played a word. It was toward the end of the game, so there weren’t enough letters left to refill her seven-letter rack. Only four letters. And my aunt gasped when she saw what they were:

Rita

R-I-T-A. Rita.

“I knew it was Nana,” my aunt said. “She was saying, ‘You better not forget me!’ ”

She wasn’t the only one to get something unexpected from Words With Friends. An article from the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye blog this week tells the story of Megan Lawless, from Chicago, and Jasper Jasperse from the Netherlands, two star-crossed lovers who would have never met if not for the “Random Opponent” button on the Words With Friends app.

Sometimes we witness something wonderful in the strangest of places … even a smartphone app. Has a game brought more than just amusement to you—something you were searching for? Did you experience something incredible, and seemingly inexplicable, this holiday season? Share it with us at mw@guideposts.org.

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