Ticket to Heaven
“How do I get to Heaven?” is not a question most of us often wonder about. However, while putting my two daughters to bed the other night, they asked the question of me.
“Will I get to Heaven even after how bad I was today, Mommy?”, Lila asked.
“Yes, Love.”, I answered.
Sophie couldn’t help contributing some 9 year old wisdom, “God loves you anyway, Lila. Just like Mommy and Daddy do.”
“Yes.”, I agreed. “God loves you anyway.”
Lila didn’t seem comforted. “But, he can still see me when I’m being bad??”
“Mmmm-hmmm.”, I said, sitting down on the edge of her bed. Obviously I was going to be here for awhile.
“What will God say about when I was bad?”, Lila asked, her 6 year old eyes growing wide as she pulled her blanket up to her chin.
“Well,” I started, trying to buy a few more seconds for thought. “He’ll ask you about all of your sins because He knows them all. Then, He’ll ask you if you’re sorry for them. All you have to do is say ‘Yes, I am sorry, Lord. Please forgive me.’ and He will. Then you can walk right into Heaven. All your sins will be forgiven.”
“That’s right, Lila. Remember? All our sins are forgiven because Jesus died for us.” Sophie added. I smiled at my eldest child in their dimly lit room. For all of her “challenging” moments, Sophia has such a sense of God.
When I looked down again at my Lila Lu, her eyes were even wider and welling up with tears.
“What’s wrong?!” I asked, shocked at her response. “Aren’t you happy that your sins will be forgiven??”
“Yes...” she sobbed. “but, what if when He asks me if I’m sorry, I smile on accident!”
At this, Sophie and I both laughed, and I gave Lila a reassuring hug. You see, Lila has this nervous habit of smiling when she gets in trouble. While this may SOUND amusing, it’s more than a little exasperating when she’s just clobbered her little brother with a Hot Wheels car and is now smiling about it. Then, when you lose your temper and bellow, “You’re not smiling at ME, are you?!”, she has to cover her mouth with both hands to hide the fact that her smile has now grown even bigger.
In any case, our laughter helped to lighten up Lila’s mood, and Sophie and I again assured her that God would indeed forgive her all her sins, even “smiling on accident”. Truth be told, I think that God Himself would be amused at Lila’s nervous habit of displaying an impish grin at the worst possible moment.
Most of us have sins far greater than throwing a little toy car directly at the head of a younger, more defenseless sibling. Yet, we know we must confess the truth when we look upon the face of God at Heaven’s Gate. Thankfully, Our Lord asks only that we repent and believe when we arrive, and we use His grace as our passport to enter in.
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