Wednesday, March 17, 2010


In the months since Samuel died, there has been a lot of talk in our house about Heaven.  The boys are naturally curious about it: what it looks like, who is there, what Samuel is doing there, what Samuel is like in Heaven, etc.  Heaven comes up regularly in conversation, and these days it seems like a normal topic.

Monday Heaven came up again, but this time the end result of the conversation was breathtakingly beautiful.  The boys and I were driving home from Walmart, and Joel was looking at a golden book called Bible Heroes.  Bryan and I have some reservations about how heroic some of the people in the book actually are, but that's beside the point.  Joel was looking at a picture of Samson, and he asked one of his favorite questions: "How does he talk?"  Whenever Joel wants to pretend to be a character, he first inquiries about the character's manner of speaking.  He wants to know a specific line from a book or movie that the character says and how the character's voice sounds.  Caleb is very familiar with this routine and immediately attempted to answer Joel's question. 

Caleb: "Joel, Samson is not a character.  He was a real person who really lived.  We don't know how he talked because he lived a really long time ago."

Joel: "But how does he talk?"

Caleb: "We don't know because he's not alive anymore.  But we can meet him when we go to Heaven, and then you can find out how he talks!"

Joel: "But I don't know how to get to Heaven.  How do I get there?"

At this point, I was listening intently.  I looked in the rearview mirror and asked Caleb, "Caleb, can you tell Joel how to get to Heaven?"  Caleb immediately verbalized the essence of our Christian faith with perfect clarity and confidence.  It was amazing to hear!

Caleb: "Joel, you have to trust in Jesus.  You have to believe He died on the cross for our sins, but He didn't stay dead.  He rose again from the dead.  Then when you die, you will go to Heaven."

Of course two and half year old Joel wasn't totally tracking with us and asked once again, "But how do I get there?"  So I tried to reiterate what Caleb had already said.  When I was explaining it to Joel, I used the word "no-no's" instead of sins, and Caleb jumped in, "He died for all the no-no's we're going to do too!"  When I finished summarizing Christianity for Joel :) , I asked Caleb, "Do you believe that, Caleb?  That Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose again from the dead?"  Caleb's answer made my heart swell and joy flood my soul.  He said, "Yes, I believe that!"  What could be more wonderful or beautiful in all the world? 

At this point we were pulling into our driveway, and I asked him, "Do you know what that means, Caleb?  Jesus already lives in your heart!  What do you think about that?"  Caleb beamed and said, "That sounds pretty fun!"  I pulled Caleb out of his carseat and into my lap.  I held him close and told him, "He is with you and will always be there.  You have already made the most important choice you can ever make!  There is no more important choice in all the world than choosing to believe in Jesus.  I am so happy that you trust Him!  I am so happy He lives in your heart!  I am so happy we will be in Heaven together someday!" 

Caleb spent the rest of the day glowing with joy.  He was so delighted to learn that Jesus lives in his heart.  Bryan and I had previously talked to him about how people can ask Jesus to live in their hearts, but we wanted to be careful not to communicate that there is a magic prayer that commences a relationship with Jesus.  We've thought for some time -- in fact, I remember Bryan and I talking about it on our drive to the lake the day before Samuel was born -- that Caleb believes in Jesus, and we didn't want to communicate that all the time prior to saying a prayer asking Jesus into his heart was illegitimate in some way.  Bryan and I don't think Caleb's faith in Jesus began on Monday; we think it began a long time before then.  But it is the first time Caleb has ever articulated his faith on his own, ever been able to explain what Jesus did for him, and so it is a day we will celebrate for the rest of our lives.  I know for sure that I get to spend eternity with Caleb and with Samuel.  How wonderful is that!  And I am so thankful that I got to hear Caleb explain what it means to trust in Jesus -- and to his little brother, Joel. 

It's really cool to think that Samuel is in Heaven rejoicing that his biggest brother trusts in Jesus and has Jesus in his heart.  Samuel is cheering on the faith of his big brother, and someday they will be together, rejoicing in the very presence of Jesus.  What a picture.  What a thing to imagine.  I am so, so glad (what an understatement!) that there is more to life than just this world, that there is hope in Someone much bigger than me or my dead son.  And I am beyond thrilled that Caleb has a relationship with the One who gives life meaning, value, redemption, and truth.  We have a lot to celebrate!

1 comment:

  1. Tears fill my eyes right now! That is so wonderful and I yearn for the day that my girls understand that clearly as well! Rejoicing today for you guys and Caleb!
    Beth :)