Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…
I came into youngest daughter’s room to tuck her into bed and pray with her. Her way was to unburden her little heart, not just to God, but to me, at this time. If she felt guilty about something, if she had a question in her mind, a worry, a fear, as I tucked her in at night all her pent up thoughts, and feelings would spill out. On this particular night, her big brown eyes pooled with tears, and when I questioned her about what was wrong she replied in a quivery voice, “I don’t want to go to heaven! I don’t want to go to heaven and leave my Glow Worms!”, referring to her most favorite toys.
I didn’t have to question her about what she meant, I remembered thinking and feeling the same thing at her age. I had sat in Sunday School and been taught about heaven, or the return of Jesus, and had resisted the idea of leaving the comfort of all that I knew and loved here and now. I didn’t really get the attraction of those golden streets and gates of pearl. I liked home, and mama, and snuggling in my little bed with its crisp white sheets and heavy handmade quilts. I understood. She was my little homebody. All was well in her little world if Daddy and I and her two sisters were all together at home. With a quick whisper heavenward for wisdom, I knew how to respond to her. I talked to her about how wonderful it is to come home when we had been away somewhere…how good it felt to be back in her own little bed. I told her that someday, when she goes to heaven, it’s going to feel like that only much, much better. She would realize that she was finally really Home. This place that she thought was home was just temporary, that our real, true Home is being made ready by Him. I reassured her that not only would Jesus be there, but Mama and Daddy and her sisters too, because we had all made Jesus our Lord.
That conversation was over twenty years ago. Since then, those words I spoke to her with such assurance have been tested in my own life. Beloved friends have left this life for their real home…then my daddy, my father in law, my sister. Do I really believe what I told that little brown eyed girl of mine? Most assuredly, yes. I have been with those I love, who love Him, when they leave this temporary home, and I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that He is the resurrection and the life, and that our real Home is where He is.