Over the years, I’ve been engaged in an ongoing conversation about faith with a seeker.

I have a little experience, as a parent, in answering our son’s questions. Trying to explain to a very literal-minded child about how salvation in Jesus Christ gives us a new clean heart just about sent him over the edge. I still smile when I remember him clutching his chest as I explained no physical surgery would be required!

I answered questions about whether there would be video games in heaven. Would there be a school? Would he need to wear tie-up shoes? Could he take his favorite stuffed animals? What about the dog?

I was honest. “I don’t know about video games,” I told him. “I’m thinking that since God made your brain, you wouldn’t need electronics to entertain yourself there.”

I told him that if there is any type of schooling, he would be learning from the Creator of everything, so he would be learning from the top expert.

I have no idea about the dog, but my idea of Heaven includes big dogs and horses and lions and tigers and bears.

It was evident to me that he was trying to understand God from the frame of his life experience and what he cared about at that time.

It’s part of my own thoughts today. Like the seeker I’ve been talking with, I like to know things. I like to be prepared. I like to have some evidence.

But I confess I’m not an expert on what to expect in Heaven.

I don’t know anything in my brain, really. I only know deep down that I know. I know I don’t want to miss it, for anything!

A mere few weeks ago, my sister-in-law and my aunt went to Heaven. I know it as well as I know anything.

A year ago today, my mother also found out exactly what her faith was leading up to. In her life, she modeled a faith that never questioned what or why God had in store for her.

In my seeking years, I had lots of questions that I thought needed answers. I even “Google-searched” some of them, as if I’d find what I was looking for on the internet.

When I stopped looking for explainable facts and believed in faith, true answers started coming to me.

Peace in all situations. Joy in the midst of messes. Confidence that has nothing to do with my own abilities.

I don’t know what Mom would report back to me if she could, but I know I’ll find out, because that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen according to Hebrews 11:1.

Faith has changed me inexplicably in ways I couldn’t change myself.

A favorite Walter Hawkins song, “What Is This?” led me to think of how I could best explain it.

What is this, that makes me do right when I would do wrong?

What is this? When I’m down low, it gives me a song!

Whatever it is, it won’t let me hold my peace!

It makes me love all my enemies, and it makes me love all my friends.

And it won’t let me be ashamed to tell the world that I’ve been born again!

— Walter Hawkins, 2003

— Email Andrea Howe at ahowe@mtcarmelregister.com

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