By Miriam Rossow
“Jesus is here!” he said as he ran towards me with eyes full of hope and excitement. It was the last night of VBS and Jesus had come to visit.
Of course this was only someone from our congregation dressed up like Jesus. We had had ‘visitors’ of this kind all week sharing the stories of miraculous healing and feeding. The characters from the Bible had come alive all week as we heard how Jesus chooses us, provides for us, protects us, heals us, and teaches us.
We ourselves had been able to experience the clothes, smells, sounds, and tastes of Jesus’ time in the marketplace as we dressed up. My car still smells of cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves from the spice shop and my children enjoyed dyeing fabric in the dye shop!
None of these experiences brought about the true joy and wonder that I saw in my three-year-old’s eyes as he showed at seeing Jesus walking among us. I must say I was slightly concerned about this excitement.
“Jesus is here!” he said as he ran towards me with eyes full of hope and excitement.
Being a concerned parent I decided to have a conversation with him about how this was a person dressed up and pretending to be Jesus in order to tell us how much Jesus loves us. I reminded him how he was able to dress up that week and how his sisters were pretending that week also.
As we talked my three-year-old said, “If Jesus was walking around in the gym, then Grandpa could be walking around also.”
My heart stopped at these words. You see, my father died two weeks ago. My son saw his grandfather’s dead and broken body taken out of bed and placed on a stretcher. He saw his grandfather in a casket and watched as the lid was shut. My son saw the casket with Grandpa’s dead body in it taken away after the funeral. He saw the tears and he cried some of his own.
And then on my Dad’s birthday my three-year-old son knew that if he saw Jesus walking around then he could see his dead grandfather walking around also!
He knew Jesus had been dead, was alive, and is coming back to be with His people. My three-year-old believed and understood that if he saw Jesus here with His people, then the people that were dead could be walking around also!
“If Jesus was walking around in the gym then Grandpa could be walking around also.”
This is the hope that we carry with us through the tears; the hope and knowledge and faith that one day those we love will walk again with us in the presence of Jesus, who loves us all!
I look forward to the day that my children and I have those awestruck, excited, and joy-filled eyes as we see Jesus coming to reign in the new heaven and the new earth where the dead will be raised!