There have been many moments in my life that have greatly impacted me. But this one stands out among them all, for without this one, all those other things would not have impacted me the same way. I wrote this today as a writing project my brother started this month. So without further ado, I give you one of my fondest memories, whether you care or not. : )
It was more waiting than my five year old heart could endure. Why wasn’t Dad back from work yet? What could be taking so long? Didn’t he know how important this was?
My mind wandered over the last day and a half; so much to think about. It started the night before as I lay in bed listening to Richard and Melody talk in the bathroom. Their nightly custom, as I recall, was to talk while getting ready for bed; in my mind these conversations were sacred, and a privilege of highest degree to listen to. This night the subject was on Eternity, Heaven, and Hell.
Fear stole into my heart as I listened and realized with a horror never experienced—I am not ready to die.
Belief in God is one thing, but asking Him to cleanse you of your sins and live inside of you is another thing entirely. Yes, I believed in God, but I knew that if I died that night I would not be ready to meet my Creator.
Tearfully, I called out to one I esteemed as knowing everything. “Richard…Richard…”
Like a knight, my older brother came to my aid. Upon listening to my distress, he advised me to go speak with Dad, and assured me that he wouldn’t be upset that I had gotten up from bed. So I quietly crept down the stairs and entered my Dad’s office.
The colors of the room appeared in dull blues and grays with the only light in the room coming from a computer monitor. “Daddy–” my pathetic voice whimpered. “I w-want to g-go to heaven.” I climbed in my father’s lap and we began to talk. I asked questions, he answered them, then he asked questions to see if I understood. We talked of our sinfulness and need for a Savoir, about God’s love in sending His Son to die, and how He took the full punishment of our sins. After a good while, he prayed with me and sent me to bed, promising that we would talk more in the morning.
Like a hound dog, I ran downstairs first thing in the morning to find my father. I spotted him. There he was in the kitchen juicing carrots! With his hands still orange from the carrots we sat down on the couch to talk. We revisited the same things we talked about the night before. Enough talk. After all, I was five—which was so much older than four— wasn’t I big enough to understand everything? I just wanted to pray already! He left for work with another promise that we would continue this when he came home.
Anxiously, I awaited my father’s return; the day could not have seemed longer. The new information played through my mind again and again as I contemplated it all. This was a matter of utmost importance, and I knew my life was about to change forever. What was that? My heart skipped a beat. The door opened; a familiar voice. Yes–it was him! Still a few minutes passed until we both went to his office. In the quiet of that room he led me in a prayer.
I repeated each phrase slowly with great reverence meaning each word I said. “Dear God, please forgive me of my sins, and cleanse my heart. I believe in You and that You sent Your only Son, Jesus, to die in my place. Please come and live inside my heart and make me your child. I want to be your disciple.” Memory fails me of the exact words, but they don’t really matter. It is not the prayer that saves you; it is only God that can save you.
Joy washed over me as the love of Christ penetrated my little believing heart. Yes, I was overwhelmed with indescribable love and joy–pure joy—more than a five year old could contain. I would never be the same again. Never. My feet were swift as I ran to tell all in the household this great news. So much more special than any gift or toy, I had a relationship with God and I knew I would spend the rest of my life serving and loving Him.