One special evening, many years ago, found my daughter Rachel, perhaps 4 years old at the time, in an inquisitive frame of mind. In one sense, this was not unusual. Bedtime often seemed to inspire a rash of questions from the youngest Daltons – a clever tactic intended, no doubt, to delay the inevitable; but, that night was different.
After family prayers, story-time, and our bedtime song – a nightly ritual joyfully celebrated by all – Rachel and her little brother were safely tucked into bed. I kissed them both goodnight and was quietly leaving their room when the first question was posed.
“Daddy, does God really live in my heart?”
Since this was a concept we had spoken of a number of times before, I smiled and affirmed that it was indeed true.
Rachel paused thoughtfully and then followed-up with this: “When I die will I really be with God forever?”
Recognizing that this was not a time to rush away, I walked back and knelt by the side of her bed. I looked into her wondering eyes and assured her that this too was true.
She then became quiet for a few more fruitful seconds before asking me a question I will never forget.
“Daddy, does that mean that, when I die, I will live in my own heart forever?”
Honestly, I can’t recall how I answered my daughter that night because I was so taken by her thoughts/words.
Many times since, I have asked myself what it would be like to live in my own heart forever. Would it be a well-ordered and peaceful place? Would I find genuine joy there? How about hope? Faith? Goodness? Kindness? Mercy? Forgiveness? Gentleness? Understanding? Patience? Acceptance? Love?