Jesus tells us in Luke 18:17 (NIV): “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” What does that mean? It means accepting God’s words in total dependence, full trust, frank openness and complete sincerity. Children just seem to accept what God’s words say, whereas us adults often have our minds so jumbled up with “stuff” that we have a much harder time just accepting what God says at face-value.
That was the way it seemed with our 2 year-old son, Matthew. He believed what Jesus said, and that was that!
Case in point: After little Bryan’s memorial service, we invited a few friends to join us at our home. We were saddened, yet also thankful that our little baby would never again be in any pain.
As we sat chatting with our friends, Matthew suddenly came over and plopped down on my lap. A few moments later, he looked up at the ceiling and pointed with his finger:
Look, mommy, angels!
In my dazed frame of mind I looked up at the ceiling, but didn’t see anything. I just hugged Matthew closely and tried to keep my attention on the conversations around me. But then a few moments later Matthew again pointed up into a corner of the ceiling:
Look, mommy, over there – angels!
I looked up again at the ceiling to where he was pointing. What on earth was he looking at? Was he thinking that the shadows in the corner were angels? Where were these thoughts coming from?
As the next few weeks passed, we finally got into a somewhat normal routine at home. Matthew just loved Jeffrey to pieces, and he never seemed jealous of all the extra attention that we needed to give him. He was very proud of his little brother.
Matthew was also really enjoying learning more and more about Jesus. He loved going to his Sunday School class and being with his friends. At nighttime it was our routine to say prayers together as a family, and then Gary would sit and read a book to him.
After awhile, he only wanted Gary to read his little Children’s Bible at nighttime. He loved to listen to the stories of Noah, Jonah and others. He began to ask all sorts of questions about Jesus, and we would answer him the best we could. One thing we always stressed to him: You always need to obey what Jesus says.
It was so interesting! Sometimes we would all just be sitting at the table eating dinner together when all of a sudden out of the blue Matthew would just start talking about Jesus.
Did you know that Jesus created all the animals? Did you know that Jesus created the whole world?
He was also showing a natural talent for sports, just like his daddy. He knew that daddy used to play baseball, and sometimes he would just go and sit with Gary while a baseball game was on TV. His Uncle Sonny one day bought him an Atlanta Braves baseball cap (I have no idea why since we lived nowhere near Atlanta!), but Matthew absolutely fell in love with that cap. First thing in the morning he would put it on, and he usually wouldn’t take it off until bedtime.
One evening after our prayers, Matthew informed Gary that he didn’t want to read out of his Children’s Bible anymore – he wanted daddy to read out of his grown-up Bible! We were amazed. Gary’s Bible at that time was the old King James version. I even had trouble understanding it!
Then came the day when I was traveling with Matthew down the freeway in the Seattle area. As we were going underneath a bypass, all of a sudden Matthew got really excited and started pointing up to the top of a cement structure.
Look, mommy, I see Bryan up there! Someday I’m going to be with Bryan in heaven.
This was quite bizarre to me, but I certainly didn’t ever want to dissuade Matthew from talking about Jesus.
Yes, honey, someday we’ll all be up in heaven with Bryan.
But Matthew wouldn’t stop talking about it.
I’m going to be with Bryan someday, he repeated.
When we got home I told Gary about the conversations we had in the car about Matthew talking about being with Bryan someday in heaven.
However we certainly weren’t prepared for Matthew to be joining his brother Bryan quite so soon. And yes, I do believe now that Matthew did indeed see angels previously…