I know many of you have had KEY problems: Forgetting to take them out when you change from one purse to another or one pants pocket to another, or locking them in your vehicle, or leaving them inside the keyhole of the door instead of removing them, or putting an item over them, etc., etc.

May I share some harrowing experiences I have had with keys and other objects? I know God’s mysterious ways have always prevailed:


1.One afternoon I went shopping and had six large bags to carry from the alley in front of my garage to my apartment. I had to make two trips back and forth to my apartment. I did not drive my car into the garage because I wanted go on another errand very shortly.

After I unloaded the six bags and started to leave my apartment, I had my house keys, but not my car keys. (I kept them on separate key chains.) I looked in every bag, every section of my purse, on the table, underneath the table, on the chairs, underneath the chairs, but no car keys.

I got the extra car keys that I keep in case of an emergency and walked back to the garage. Lo and behold, some kind and honest person had found my car keys and placed them under the windshield wiper of my car. Believe me, I said a prayer of thanksgiving to God and for that person.

2. Another incident was when I was going to take my cat to the vet. I had my car keys in my left hand and the pet carrier in my right hand. I opened the car door, set the carrier down on the car seat, locked the door from the inside and closed the door. I realized then that I had accidentally placed the car keys alongside the carrier when I set it down.

Against the wall in the alley, there are trash cans for the tenants. Inside one of the trash cans was a wire coat hanger. Fortunately, my neighbor whose garage is next to mine appeared. Since the window on the passenger side was slightly ajar, he opened the door with the wire coat hanger and I was able to get my keys. I thanked God for the wire coat hanger and my neighbor.

3. I had just come back from the laundromat loaded with a shopping cart of clean clothes. I decided that I would stop at the mailbox to see if I had any mail. I had my mailbox key separate from my apartment keys at that time. It was a little early for the mail delivery so I went to my apartment.

About three hours later, I was going to check again to see if I had received any mail. I could NOT find my mailbox key. I looked frantically in the cart where I had my clothes — and no key.

I then thought perhaps I might have dropped my key in front of the mailbox. I had done just that. The key was lying on the grass in full view in front of the mailbox. I thanked God again, because so many people are constantly passing in front of my mailbox and anyone could have picked it up.


When I worked for a government agency in the 1940s, we were paid in cash every Friday. I stopped at Woolworths to buy a new wallet. I didn’t like the wallets I saw there, so I decided to try another store. When I reached the store, I did not have my wallet.

I ran back to Woolworths, which was a block away, and there was my wallet on top of several other wallets. So many “what-ifs” came to mind at that moment. I thanked God no one had walked away with my wallet.


One Tuesday morning, I heard a voice within me saying, “Buy the L.A. Times” several times. I kept avoiding the voice, but it would not cease. Finally, in the afternoon, I went and bought an issue of the Tuesday L.A. Times. In the issue was an article by the National Library of Poetry asking for the submission of poems and stating that some of the poems received might be published.

I submitted my poem “In My Arms,” about the passing of my beloved cat Toughy. What a thrill it was to have my poem published in their book, “Forever and a Day.” Had I not heeded to the voice, I would have missed out on a published poem.


I could not find my favorite paring knife, which I use every day, so I rummaged through the trash bin, but no paring knife. Much to my surprise, I found a teaspoon that I was unaware I had put in the trash bag. Had I not gone through the trash, I would have lost a teaspoon since trash pickup day was the following day.

Oh yes, I found the paring knife. It was after a voice said, “Open this drawer.” I do not use this particular drawer every day and wondered why I put it in this drawer. I was grateful I found the paring knife.

My bank has a new way of distributing new checks. The checks now come in a folder instead of a box. I have a place where I previously put my new, unused checks and there were no new, unused checks there. I went through all my desk and dresser drawers, but no new checks.

I became almost hysterical until I went to the folder where I keep my previous bank statements, and there were my new, unused checks. I immediately placed them in my present bank statement folders. I thought to myself, “Maggie, you’re losing it.”


God indeed works in mysterious ways. He has plans for our lives every day and everything is according to His will. We have to be patient and it may take time, sometimes years, but if it is meant to be, it WILL come to be. We have to learn to take suffering and/or hardships as a blessing. I know, because I have experienced such so many times in my life.

May I add that’s why doctors call people “patients” because we have to have patience and wait our turn. Sometimes we wait for as long as 30 minutes after the appointed time. It is unusual when we are able to see the doctor as scheduled because, of course, we ain’t the only patient to see the doctor.

We often wonder what and why strange things happen to us, but never forget God works in mysterious ways and always watches over us. Remember “His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over me.”


Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.


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