All four of our married children -- the grandchildren -- and four of their children -- the great-grandchildren -- attended the memorial service for my mother-in-law: a lovely blessing indeed. Lots of sibling pictures were taken -- it was the first time in eight years all five were together -- and we look forward to receiving them in the days to come.
Our middle son's 5-year-old daughter was the questioner. Her daddy had prepared them for the service, discussing death and heaven and the fact that Grandma June was no longer here with us. "I wish Grandma was still alive," she would say now and then. Riding across Denton in the back seat of her daddy's van, she and I talked.
"Why is papa [Grandpa] giving Daddy money?"
"It's money from Grandma June to help Daddy pay for the motel so you could be here this weekend."
Puzzled look: "Grandma June is still alive?"
"No; she left some money to help people."
"She can help people after she died?"
"Yes -- before she died, she left some money with us that we could use for her to help people."
After digesting that for a while, "Is Grandma June in heaven?"
"Yes, she's with Jesus now."
"I'm afraid to go to heaven."
"You needn't be -- Jesus loves you very much, and when it's time for you to live in heaven, you'll live with Him forever, and see Grandma again, too."
"Can we go to heaven in a rocket ship?"
"Well, no -- heaven isn't the kind of place you can get to in a rocket ship or a car or an airplane. Jesus has to take you there when it's time for you to go."
Eyes wide with sudden insight, voice breathless with delight:
"You mean Jesus picks us up in His arms and carries us there?"