A long time ago, deep in the pines of Seattle, a little boy named Gavyn was born. His birth was a special surprise to his parents because they thought it would be years before they would be blessed with a child.
Gavyn’s bedroom was located in the back of their cabin - built from timber his father himself had cut. Each night, his mother covered him with an old quilt frayed around the edges. “Your grandma made this herself when she was a little girl,” she whispered in his ear as she tucked the soft blanket around his neck.
“Where is Grandma now?” Gavyn asked. In all his eight years, he couldn’t remember ever meeting a person named Grandma. She must live far away.
His mother dabbed at her eyes. “When your Daddy and I married, we moved far away from her.” Gavyn thought a moment – he was a bright child – always trying to figure out problems bigger than he was. His father told him one day he would make a fine doctor.
“Will we see her someday?” he asked. His mother smiled like she did when she baked his favorite cookies.
“Someday in heaven, Gavyn. Tomorrow I will tell you more but tonight you must go to sleep.” She kissed his forehead and left the room. Gavyn stared at the moon shining outside of his window. Another full one. That meant his father would be leaving tomorrow for his monthly trip into town. Gavyn didn’t want to stay behind this time so he climbed from the warmth of his bed and slipped out of the window. He was still small enough to climb unnoticed into the wagon already loaded with vegetables from their garden.
Gavyn awoke to strange noises. He peeked from under his blanket and saw people scurrying all around him. He heard his father speaking to a man so he slid from his hiding place and climbed down the side of the wagon. His father would be angry about his disobedience but Gavyn really wanted to see the city. There were carriages and horses everywhere but mostly people - big people and little people.
Across the street, Gavin spied a building that looked like one in a picture in his mother’s Bible. He couldn’t stop himself from pushing through the front doors only to find himself in a room filled with benches. On the back wall, a large cross hung.
“Gavyn!” his father’s voice boomed from behind him. Gavyn spun around and hung his head. His father caught him up in his arms and hugged him close. “What are you doing here?” he asked. “You are supposed to be home with Mother!” he scolded.
“I’m sorry Daddy. I wanted to see the city with you. Then I saw this place.” Gavyn pointed to the old wooden cross. “Is this like heaven - where grandma is?”
His father sat him down on the bench beside him. He put his head in his hands and then took a deep breath. “Your Grandma always wanted us to go to church with her. She made a point to go every Sunday. Your Mother went with her until the day she married me.”
Gavyn watched his father’s sad face turn into a smile. “Heaven is a wonderful place we go to when we die if we ask Jesus to forgive us from the bad things we do.” He looked at Gavyn. “Like disobeying your father.” Gavyn thought about his father’s words. His mother had told him about Jesus at night by his bed. She said He had died for everyone on a cross like the one in this church. But she hadn’t told him about Heaven yet. Gavyn looked up at his father.
“Will you go to Heaven one day too, Daddy? Don’t you want to see Grandma?”
His father pulled him close. “Son, yes I want to go to heaven. I want to live there with all of you.” His father stood and put his hand on Gavyn’s shoulder like Gavyn had seen him do with the men who helped cut down their trees. Gavyn stood straighter.
“How about we go home now and have your mother tell us about heaven? I bet she might even be willing to read some of those stories out of her Bible to us after dinner.”
Gavyn smiled up at his father hoping someday he would grow up to be a man just like him.
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