The lights were out. Bedtime prayers had been prayed and stories told. Goodnight kisses all around. Quiet began to creep in around the corners. The tired mother was trying to fit a few more bits of work into her not too productive day when from the bed in the corner her youngest child called out:
“Be quiet Evan.”
“Evan, I already told you. Be quiet. Time for talking is over.”
“I need to tell you something!”
“Not now Evan. You’re already tucked in and it’s time for quiet.”
“But Mommy! I NEED to tell you something!”
Watching her chance for uninterrupted work recede even more, she contemplated some kind of discipline. She considered actively ignoring him. She wished a bit that she didn’t have to deal with this alone. But his voice was urgent and she didn’t want to deny him something if he really did need it. “Ok sweetheart, what is it? Tell me quickly. After that you will HAVE to be quiet.”
“Ok Mommy. Come over here.”
Wearily she acquiesced. Five year old Evan had a stuffed bear in his hands. “Mommy.” He told her, “Barbar is a good bear. He loves God. He obeys. He went to heaven.” And the bear was walked carefully across the quilt and off the head of the bed into the air. “And then Mommy, in heaven Barbar was bad and had to go to hell.”
Well of all the ‘needs’! He just wanted to tell her a story! And where did Evan come up with such ideas? But one look into Evan’s sad, slightly scared eyes told her that he was not ‘telling a story’ for the fun of it.
Saying a prayer for guidance, she took a breath and then spoke. “Well Evan, let me tell you another story. Barbar was a sad boy. He knew he sinned and he was scared. He wanted to go to heaven, but he didn’t know how. Then he found out that Jesus had made a way for him. He had taken Barbar’s sins, and the sins of the whole world, and had died for them. His sacrifice was accepted. And now all He asked from Barbar was to accept him too. Gladly Barbar DID accept Jesus, and now he is safe. Heaven and hell are settled for him because Jesus has promised to go with him the whole way. ”
Evan relaxed back into his pillow. “Then I’m ok. Because I asked Jesus into my heart a long time ago, and he came!” His arms wrapped lovingly around his beloved bear. His eyes drooped. He was asleep.
The mother sat quietly for a few moments. She was still tired, but no longer so weary. Her mind no longer raced. Her soul was stilled and silent. Her face relaxed into a joyful smile. Her Lord was her precious son’s Lord as well. It was settled.
(Based on a true incident. Names and minor details have been changed.)
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