I remember one day when I was young we had just returned home from church
When I immediately spread out a map and asked Mom and Dad to help with my search.
“What are we searching for? ” Mom asked as she indulged me in one of my quirks.
‘Where God lives.” I said as I scanned the map. “Do you think he lives in the same town where he works?
“Where God lives? ” Dad asked quizzically, “Why is that a subject you want to explore? ”
(Parents! Why do they respond to a question with a question when it’s an answer that we’re looking for?)
“Well, Dad works and lives here in Twinsburg”, I said using logic I thought ironclad
Since I know where God works, I was hoping he too lives where he works, just like Dad.
“And just where does God work? ” Mom smiled, trying to mask her lingering doubt.
“I think he works in Ohio! ” I said, “At least that’s what I’m trying to find out.”
“How do you know he lives in Ohio? Dad asked, “What could possibly make you think that way? ”
“Father McGinnis, ” I said still searching the map, “he said so in church today.”
When he was talking about that girl who died he said, “We have to have faith and pray.”
“Even if we don’t understand, ” he said, “remember God works in Mysterious Ways.”
“If Mysterious Ways is in Ohio, I could go to his house or give him a call
And ask him why he chose that little girl...why did she have to die after all.”
Mom smiled, put her chair next to mine then her long arms surrounded me
“Mysterious Ways is not a place, ” she said, “its how we explain a God we can’t see.”
“What Father McGinnis was talking about, what I think he meant to say
Was that God doesn’t work in Mysterious Ways, Ohio but he does work in mysterious ways.”
“Faith doesn’t mean we understand everything, for often we don’t, but still
Faith is accepting then knowing and believing...someday, somehow that we will.”
I never quite grasped Mom’s explanation, which is perhaps why I continue to try
To find where God lives so I can ask him myself, why did that little girl die?
It’s a question that has haunted me from that moment and is why when I travel today
I buy a new map, spread it out on the table and search for Mysterious Ways.
I’m not sure I’ll ever find it, but I’ll keep trying until the time of rebirth
And God I want you to know I’m getting closer...I just downloaded Google Earth!
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Mysterious Ways by Jim Yerman )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- The Rose that Grew from Concrete, Tupac Shakur
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes