My five year old came running to me one night, right before going to bed and told me that he didn't want to live forever or die forever. He had been saying this for some time now and I was clueless as to where this was coming from. I had tried vague consolations and some distractions just to handle the moment, never really trying to understand what his concerns were. But that night I had a long conversation with my son that went something like this -
Him: Mummy, I don’t want to live forever or die forever.
Me: You will not have to do that, baby. When Jesus comes the second time there will be no more pain or hurt or bad things. Everything will be good for those who trust Him.
Him: What about those who don’t? Will they not die forever? Will they go to hell?
Me: (concerned that he might be talking about himself) You will not go to hell, baby! You believe in Jesus!
Him: I don’t like hell! I don’t want anybody to go to hell! (starts to cry)
Me: Who are you worried about, son?
Him: I am worried about my friends, mummy, (crying bitterly) I don’t want them to go to hell.
Me: You know that our Lord Jesus Christ is a living God, right? Why don’t we pray for your friends?
(I pray while he leaves his toy, folds his hands and says, ‘Please, Jesus please!’ crying all the while)
Him: Thank you mummy! (After some time) Can God change our hearts?
Me: Yes, surely God can do that.
Him: How, mummy? Will he remove our hearts and put a new one?
Me: Yes, almost like that. Imagine you are building a house with your building blocks. There is an ant watching you. Another ant tells him that if he keeps watching, this house will become a ship. The first ant does not believe but keeps watching. You then break down the house and use the same blocks to build a ship. The house has changed into a ship. The first ant will be so surprised. We are like the ants, we cannot do what God can. The ant couldn’t have lifted even a single block but it was easy for you to break the house and build a new ship. In the same way it is easy for God to do anything with the blocks He has. (I know this was not the best example but it was all I could manage at that moment)
Him: Yes, it is easy for God (goes to bed comforted, happy and smiling).
He slept peacefully leaving me amazed at his understanding, his questions and more importantly, his love for his friends. One could clearly see that he truly cared for them. It made me wonder if I really cared for mine.
Of course, we make ourselves available for our friends. That’s what friends do. I am there when they need me. I clear my schedule and generally make myself available for the discussions and analysis of why someone hurt them or why things went wrong. But how many times have I helped them take their worries, pains and hurts to Jesus?
I have visited my friends when they are in the hospital and cooked meals for their families. I have suggested doctors, practices and treatments that I have found useful. But how many times have I led them to the greatest healer of all time – our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?
We interact with neighbours and colleagues every day. We are invariably the first ones they come to when in trouble. We have probably cared for their pets when they go out of town. We care for their physical and emotional wellbeing, but have we cared for their spiritual wellbeing? Have we truly loved our neighbours – loved them enough to care for their souls?
There are many who come into our homes every day, who work for us (at least in India) – domestic workers, cleaners, laundry men, security personnel, newspaper boys, postmen, etc. We give them gifts on birthdays and anniversaries and bonuses during festivals, but have we introduced them to the greatest gift of all? Have they heard from us who Christ is and what He has done for us and for them?
The conversation with my son had a profound impact on me and I hope it impacts you too.
Photo by Korney Violin on Unsplash
It is n it does n that must be Bryan ????
Wow thank you penning it down for us to be encouraged to really love our neighbors!
That was Caleb, Swapnil!!
Wow! Your son's compassion is amazing! God bless his lil heart!
Thank you Pranati!
I pray that God gives me wisdom to handle his curiosity and steer it towards the right direction.
Thank you Deborah for sharing this reminder. We are so afraid to offend people (and so be dishonored ourselves) that we keep them happy on their way to hell. Not warning them is really terribly cruel. Thank you for reminding me of this.
Thank you Sir. It is an honour to have you read this. I am guilty of the exact thing you are talking about- fear of offending others. Do I lack courage? Do I lack focus? Probably not. I guess it has more to do with understanding the power of the truth of Jesus Christ.
Thank you so much for writing this! Your answer about how changes hearts is really profound.
Thank you Red. You really need to be creative when answering kids... this was one time when the creativity worked well!! ..... it doesn't always!
HalleluYah! I thank God for putting His love in your son’s tender heart. I pray that he may continue to grow in His grace, wisdom and knowledge. Thanks for sharing Deborah. There is a lesson for the adults to learn from children.
Thank you Preeti..... Truly there are lessons for the adults to learn from children.
A truly 'eye opening session'. I'm proud of my grandson son and pray that he never will be disillusioned by the depravity and cruelty present in the world today. I'm even more proud of my daughter for taking the courage to present it to us so beautifully.
We indeed need to break all fetters to show Christ's love