Yesterday, while leaving the city park, I took a different route home. Of course, three-year-old Abby immediately noticed and asked where we were going. “Just a different way,” I told her.
As we turn onto the main road, we passed a graveyard.
“What’s that?” Abby asked.
“Well, it’s a graveyard,” I explained. “See all those stones in the ground? That is where they bury people who have died.”
“And that one, too?” Abby asked, pointing at the memorial site with the colorful bouquets spotting the grass.
“And, are the people there dying?” She asked.
“Well, they are already dead, Abby, that’s why they are buried there.”
“Are the people going to see Jesus?” she wondered.
“Well, some of them are.” I am wondering if this will be the time I have to explain that one, but she continued in her questioning.
“Are there kids in there?”
“Yes. And they will go to be with Jesus.”
“I want to die someday Mom.”
“Abby! I don’t want you to die.”
“But Mommy, I want to die so I can be with Jesus because I love Him.”
Pause. She’s right, of course. What do you say to that? Isn’t that how I should feel? Shouldn’t I want the same for her? Twenty-two month old Benjamin pipes up from his car seat to contribute to the conversation.
“I wanna die!” He’s just entered the parroting stage of language development. Smiling at Ben, I return to Abby.
“You’re right Abby. I want to die and be with Jesus one day, too. But right now, you have a lot of living still to do.”
“Like what?” she asks.
“Well, like playing with toys and eating lunch…” She interrupts.
“You mean Jesus doesn’t have any toys and no food?!” Ummm…
At this point I admit to her that I don’t really know because I haven’t been to heaven to see Jesus. We pull into the garage.
“Besides, your mama would miss you.”
“Ok Mom.” She takes my offered hand and hops out of the van. I rescue Benjamin from his car seat and follow her inside. I wish I could follow her little footsteps right into that child-faith she has, huge certainty contained in that little mind. She’s marching confidently on a mountain of Truth while I climb and stumble along clumsily beside her. And the beauty of it is, with each spiritual morsel of truth I feed her, she nourishes me right back on this journey.
Paul did say, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. . .” Abby has chosen the good thing, and far be it from me to take that away from her.
Lord Jesus, by Your grace allow me to raise this little girl and boy to love You more than life, and to desire to be with you more than anything on this earth. And Lord, I ask that for me, too. All glory to You only.
By Ashley Haupt, Little Pieces of Ordinary