Monday, July 09, 2012

The Boy Down the Hall

I fell hard for the little ten-year-old boy down the hall.  His smile was broad and it lit up his face. When we first arrived I caught glimpses of him playing games with the nurses, or seated in the playrooms playing computer games.  I saw him often, but I didn't see his parents.  They weren't here often.  I overheard someone say that his family life was fractured and broken and he was better off here than home.  A few days after hearing that, I met his father in the small kitchenette used by parents needing coffee or refreshment.  His father told me that his son had just a short time to live.  From that time on, I felt a strong conviction that I was to help the child somehow.  I ached for him, as I am sure many people did.  I prayed often and asked others to pray for him. Kathryn and I prayed for him several times a day.

One day last week, my heart was so burdened for that little boy that I asked permission to see him, just to sit with him.  His dad gave permission, and Kathryn and I entered his room late one night as he was settling down.  He recognized me but was most interested in Kathryn and asked about her.  I told him that Kathryn was my daughter and that she had been very sick too.  I told him that she was so sick that one day Jesus came to her and showed her what Heaven was like. He looked at her intently and wanted to know about Heaven as though he was hungry to hear it. Kathryn quietly shared her Heaven experience with him.  She began telling him about the animals in Heaven.  She told him how the animals in Heaven can roam freely and children can ride them, because they are no longer dangerous.  After listening for a while, I asked him if anyone had ever told him about how he could be sure of getting to Heaven. He said they hadn't but he wanted to know.

After a very brief explanation of the depth of the love Jesus showed us when he died for us, I asked him if he believed Jesus wanted to save him and take him to Heaven.  He said he believed.  I asked him if anyone ever prayed with him to ask Jesus to be His Lord.  He looked me right in the eye with a hunger in his soul that was almost too intense for me to witness.  He asked me, in a desperate tone if he could pray about that immediately.  With Kathryn standing beside me, and my hand in his, I prayed and he repeated, "Jesus, I believe you are God's Son and You died for me.  I ask you to be my Lord and save me.  This I pray in Jesus' Name, Amen."  When we were finished he asked Kathryn to come back and tell him more about Heaven.  The next morning, Kathryn did that.  She told him about the acres of fruit trees, the beauty of nature and freedom to enjoy it.  He fell asleep listening to her. When we left his room, I whispered to Kathryn, "Jesus said you couldn't stay in Heaven because there was more for you to do on Earth and this was a part of His plan." She smiled at me and, after that, we were at peace when we talked about the boy. 

I woke up the next morning to a vibrant dream that the beautiful little boy walked up to me in a blazing white T-shirt and khaki shorts. He grinned his usual way and said, "I am alright now, perfectly alright!" I told Kathryn about the dream immediately.  She replied, "Mom I prayed during the night that Jesus would come for him bringing a big beautiful tiger to take him into heaven riding on its back."  I was so touched by her simple trust in the things Jesus will do to express His personal love for each one of us.  I smiled just to think of it.

Just a day later, we heard he had died.  He had gone Home at last.  Not to a dysfunctional family, but to eternal peace with all the saints and angels there to greet him. Kathryn and I wept for joy when we heard the news.  He is free.  We went to a quiet place and I thanked God for sending His Son.  I thanked Him for the little boy who stole my heart, and for sending us here at a time when his heart was ready to hear the Gospel message.  I thanked Him for making it easy for a small feeble boy to enter Heaven.  He wasn't required to get out of bed to build a church or serve on a mission compound.  Jesus did the hard things for us, and all He wants from us is to hear, "I believe." 

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

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