“It looks like a ‘t’,” one boy remarked.
“That’s because it is a ‘t’!” another one put in.
“It’s not a ‘t’,” the girl between them as a final point said, her annoyed attitude clear through the tone of her voice. “It’s a cross, duh! Why would they put a wooden ‘t’ up in their yard at Christmas?”
Both of the males looked at her blankly, then back at the wooden cross decorated in lights on the snowy yard, and finally back at her. “I don’t get it,” one of them admitted boldly, “Why would they put it like that? Isn’t it supposed to be like an ‘x’? You know, like railroads?”
Rosie shook her head and sighed. “No, it’s the cross that Jesus died on, you know, like in church?”
Dan and Stan, the twins that lived right across from Rosie, looked at each other, and then at her, shaking their heads. “I don’t know about a cross like that,” Dan remarked, pointing once again to the figurine in the yard. “And did this Jesus get hit by a train? Is that how he died? Our teacher never talked about him.”
Rosie rolled her eyes, and with a hop on her bike, called over her shoulder, “follow me!” Unwillingly, they did, and were led straight to the town’s only church. “Now,” she said, pinning her bike to the tree, “come in and I’ll explain everything. How come you guys don’t know about any of this?”
“No one told us,” Stan quickly answered, loving it when he knew the right answer to questions.
Nearing ten, Rosie couldn’t grasp onto the concept that there were people in the world who didn’t know about Jesus and God and the Ghost person (which, frankly, she was afraid of). She went into the unlocked church, with the twins following close behind her, plopped down on one of the pews, pulled out a Bible, and looked for where that Jesus story was. When she found the spot, she read all that she could about the birth of the baby and Bethlehem and the angels. Then she closed the Bible and put it back. “Does that explain everything?”
They shook her head. Dan asked, “but what about the death thing? Didn’t he die, by a cross?”
“Oh, yeah. When he was older he got into trouble for talking about God and how he was the real God and stuff like that, so they hung him on a cross. But he already knew that he was gonna be hung, so he was prepared. And because he died there, we can get to heaven.”
“How did they hang him?”
“So I can get to heaven?”
Both of the questions threw her off a bit, but she answered them as quickly as possible. “They put nails in his hands and feet to hang him,” here there was a grimace, “and you have to be saved to get to heaven.”
“Saved from what?”
“But we all die.”
“Not that kind of death. Death like Hell.” Both boys gasped at her bad word, and she giggled before going on. “You have to know and really believe that Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins and want to live your life the way he wants you to, and you’ll be saved. It’s really easy, I promise.”
“What kind of life would we have to live?”
“Like it says in the Bible.”
“What’s the Bible?”
“That book I was reading.”
“I don’t have one.”
“Come here on Sunday and I’ll get you one. And you, too, Stan.”
“But what if Mommy doesn’t take us?”
“You can ride your bike, like you did today.”
“Do I have to wear a suit?”
The questions continued for a while until the twins agreed to come. Rosie, at age 18, looked back on her life and thought of that day, and with tears in her eyes, re-read the column in the newspaper; “Twins Stan and Dan Die In Siberia; On a missions trip, two brothers were killed in Siberia on June third…”
****How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:14-15, NIV)****
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