“Nana, tell me a bedtime story, pleeeease.” Ruby asked adoringly, batting those long, curly eyelashes over her sky blue eyes. I’d been trying to get her to bed for more than an hour. First, she was hungry, then she had to go to the bathroom, then she needed a drink of water, which caused another trip to the bathroom. Now, here she was out of bed again, and it was almost midnight! How does a six year old do that? I was exhausted and she was still going strong.
I loved babysitting my beautiful granddaughter. My husband had passed away several months before from a long battle with cancer. Ruby was my only source of joy, these days. I was alone and felt even God had forsaken me. We were active Church members before the cancer came to destroy our lives. We’d prayed tirelessly and believed God for healing. We did everything right, but God wasn’t listening. I knew I was bitter, but the pain and loneliness after 35 years of marriage was unbearable and through it all, I’d not felt any presence of God.
I couldn’t resist those pleading eyes, so I scooped her up in my recliner rocker and commenced to making up a story:
“Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom, there lived a young Prince”
“Oh, was it God’s kingdom, Nana?”
“Well no, I don’t think so, honey.”
“My Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Pam told us about the Kingdom of God. She said we have to seek God’s kingdom. Nana, what does seek mean?”
“That means you have to look for something. To go after it and never give up.”
“That’s sorta what Mrs. Pam said too. She said if we seek the kingdom of God and His riteouness then He will give us everything we need. Nana, what does rite…., ritess…I mean, rietoursness mean?”
I had to chuckle at her struggle to pronounce the word. “Right-eous-ness means to have integrity, honor and moral values. Anyway, back to our young Prince.”
“Nana, was the young Prince…..Jesus? Mrs. Pam said Jesus is a Prince. She said He is the Prince of Peace! And He is the only One who gives us peace. What does peace mean, Nana?”
“Well honey, peace is a warm feeling that’s inside your heart, even if your circumstances are unpleasant.”
“Oh” she said, “Like when Daddy hugs me real tight even when I’ve been bad and I get in trouble?”
“Yes, Baby exactly like that.”
“Mrs. Pam said Jesus is like that. Last week our verse was ‘All have sinned, but while we are sinners, Christ died for us’ she said that means no matter how bad we are, Jesus will always love us anyway.”
“Mrs. Pam sounds like a very smart lady.”
“She is Nana, and you know what else? When I was sad that PaPaw died, Mrs. Pam said PaPaw wouldn’t want me to be sad. She said PaPaw would want me to be happy for him because he’s not sick anymore and he gets to live in heaven – with Jesus! She said Jesus is taking care of PaPaw now and he’s so happy in heaven! And someday we’ll get to see him again and we’ll have a family re….re…nunion. Won’t that be cool? Nana, what’s a re…renu…nion?”
Out of the mouths of babes….. It was a divine revelation for me. Tears filled my eyes as I realized God Himself was working through this precious angel to let me know how wrong I’ve been all these months. I hugged Ruby tight. I thanked God for this little child who opened my eyes. I thanked Him for His Kingdom, for giving my heart insight into the knowledge that my husband WAS in a much better place now. My mind knew it, but my heart had not accepted it, until now. I thanked Him for sending His Son to die for us….for making it possible for all who will accept Him to go to that place, that Kingdom…..we, who are so unworthy.
“Honey, a reunion is when people who haven’t seen each other for a long time get to be together again. And yes, that will be so cool. Now, let’s get to bed, but first we need to say our prayers and thank God for his goodness.”
“OK….I love you, Nana.”
“I love you too, Ruby.”
We never did finish that bedtime story. God had other plans.
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