For some reason, the Littles have decided I am of age, and it's time to start pressuring me to move out. Consequently, not a day goes by in which they don't ask, "Sarah, when are you gonna get married? We want to have a niece or nephew." I have no idea what has caused them to pursue this subject, the only reason I can hypothesize being that they get the giggles at my "I am not getting married right now!" Finally, tonight, riding home in the car, I looked them in the eye and explained that God has the right guy somewhere, and it is His timing, not ours, for which we should be ready. "When God says it's time for me to get married, I will," I assured them. But for all my seriousness, I got chuckles. "Yeah...Unless you die first!" Maddy and Zachary thought this quite funny (who can understand the humor of 6 and 7 year olds?), and in amused exasperation, I agreed, "Yep, unless I die first, but that means God didn't want me to get married anyway!"
I thought the conversation was over, and had begun to turn back to my book, when Megan - who was sitting next to me in the car - said in a confidential undertone, "Sarah, which one would you go to?"
"What do you mean, Meggy?"
"Which one would you go to - heaven or hell - if you died early?"
To say I was surprised at the question would be an understatement. Meg knew I was a Christian, so I had the feeling that there was more going on in that little brain than her words were letting on.
"I would go to heaven, Meg," I replied, leaning in closer, "and I hope you would go to heaven too."
We both knew that she wasn't a Christian. By her wide eyes looking up at me, I knew Meggy was seriously considering what she had heard. For a moment, her inward struggle was almost palpable. But she said nothing, and looked away, so I turned to my book until, ten minutes later, I felt her eyes on me again.
"Sarah," she said, barely above a whisper, "what is hell like?"
"I don't know much about it, Meggy...it's dark. And burning. And it hurts so much that people gnash their teeth."
"What do I have to do, if I want to go to heaven instead?"
Instantly, I felt overwhelmingly out of my depth. How could I presume to explain the gospel to Megan? How could I say it fully, in a way she could grasp? And yet, we are supposed to come as little children, and the Father who calls can speak through my bewildered words.
Carefully, I told her that God was so good, not even the tiniest bit of sin could be in His presence. That Jesus, knowing this, had taken the punishment of our sin for us. That to go to heaven, all we had to do was believe in Him, but that it also meant we let Him "be the boss" of our lives. And it all ended - or rather, began - there in the van, with us bowing our heads and Megan saying a prayer that was much rejoiced over in heaven and on earth.
My little sister became my sister indeed today. May our Father bless her with wisdom and an overpowering knowledge of His love towards her.
Happy Birthday, Meg.