There are times when I feel so completely out of the loop. Yesterday was National Tell A Story Day, and seriously, how does someone like me miss a golden opportunity like that? I may have slept right through that one, but I have plenty of warning that there’s another next year, so I promise I’ll be ready. In the meantime, here is a story I wrote many years ago as a gift for a friend who learned what it means to love a hero. I don’t think she would mind if I shared.
The Father enjoyed a stroll through His Home, watching His children at work and at play. “This is good,” He thought to Himself. “I am surrounded by My beloved children in a Home I created for Myself and for them. They love and are loved. They work, they play, they learn, they teach.” He smiled in amusement as He watched One who had recently returned Home attempt to explain what it had been like to live on Earth to a small group that had never ventured outside the Gates.
As one gaze met another, the Child shrugged helplessly and said, “They cannot understand, can they Father? I learned so many things when I went to Earth, and these, my brothers and sisters, cannot fully understand them. They see that I shine more brightly than I did before. They see the great joy with which I return, but they do not know what joy is.”
God shook His head and explained gently to the Child. “They do not know, for they cannot. These precious children of Mine only know what is. They know the palaces, the streets of gold, but they do not know the goodness of it all, for they have never known that which is not good.”
The Child understood, for He had known what is not good.
As the Father continued on His way, two of the children stole away from the small crowd and joined Him. “Father,” said the first, “we would like to go out to play on Earth and learn the things that He has learned.”
“And when we come Home, we would like to shine as brightly as the others who have been out when they return,” added the second one enthusiastically.
The Father stopped and grew serious. He drew them both to Him and looked deeply into the souls of each, for He loved them both without measure. “Are you sure this is what you want? The world is full of both good and bad. Here, you have only good. You may stay here forever with Me as you always have, or you may go and play on Earth for a little while, and when I am ready, I will call you Home. Please consider these things carefully, and let Me know your will.”
The two ran off in great excitement, whispering to each other as they went. For many strolls thereafter, the Father saw the two deep in discussion as they worked and played together. He smiled to Himself and said, “This is good.”
Once, when the Father was in His garden drinking in the music of the flowers, the two found Him. The first said, “Father, we have decided. We would like to go out to play and then return Home.”
The second jumped up and down in anticipation. “And please, may we go together?”
“Have you decided what it is you would like to learn while you are there?” asked the Father, the Creator of them both.
“We have. I hear my brothers and sisters who have been out speak of courage and honor,” answered the first. “I would like to learn these things, and I would also like to know what they mean when they speak of good.”
“And what of you my precious child? What would you like to learn?” He asked the second with much affection.
“I would like to understand what it is that they call love and joy, and I, too, want to know what the good is of which they speak with such brightness about them.”
God smiled, for He loved them both without measure.
“Then it is done,” He said. “I will send you out to play, and yes, you may find each other while you are there. You will learn the things you wish as well as much, much more. I will not send you unprepared, however. I will give you the gifts you need in order to learn. I will also send you with the knowledge that you are My children, a part of Me. Even when you cannot see Me, we are never separated. Ever.”
“You will need a body to live on Earth. And parents. For you, I have chosen parents who will love you and help you learn courage and honor. I will whisper the name Don in their hearts, and that is what they will call you. It means great leader, and that is what you will be. Your courage and honor will strengthen and inspire those around you, and you will lead by your example.”
“But before you go, Don, you may choose something of Heaven to take with you to remind you of Home and to share with your brothers and sisters who are also out playing in the world. What is it that you would like to take with you?”
“I would like to take Your smile with me, Father. I would like to share it with the world as a reminder of You.”
And with that, God gently placed Don with his earthly parents, and the boy went out to play and learn.
God turned to His other much beloved child, and they held each other close for a while. He knew that the lesson of love was the hardest learned. To know love was to know not love, and to know joy was to experience not joy. He spoke with great compassion. “You, my special one, will be called Lisa which means consecrated to God. This name will I whisper into the minds of your earthly parents, and it will serve as a reminder to you while you are away that you are sacred to Me. I will send you with many gits that you will need on your journey of life and learning. You have only to call on them. Call on them often and use them freely.”
“And now, Lisa, what of Home would you like to take to share with your brothers and sisters in the world that will remind them and you of Heaven?”
Lisa looked up at her Father, the Creator of all, and with awe and praise she replied, “I would like to take with me some of Your wisdom to share with children and their families.”
He smiled at the child and said as He choked back a golden tear, “I will miss you, My little one.”
Lisa held her Father close and asked, “What does it mean, my Lord, to miss?”
The golden tear that could not stay unshed fell on her heart, and He looked at her with great meaning and said, “You will understand soon enough, My daughter, and here is a tear to take with you that we can share as you learn its meaning.”
And with that, God softly placed Lisa with her earthly parents, and the girl went out to play and learn.
As he played the game of life, Don learned courage and honor. He saw many troublesome things while in the world, and he said, “This is not good.” But he smiled God’s smile, and because he knew not good, he also knew good. Soon Lisa recognized that smile, and they found each other. It was then that Don fully understood and said, “Ah ha! This is truly that which is called good!”
Lisa, too, played the game of life and learned good and not good. She learned joy through not joy. She learned not love, and because she knew not love, she knew love. When she found Don, Lisa fully understood and said, “Ah ha! This is that which is called good!”
In Heaven, another child of God wanted to go out into the world. He saw Don and Lisa and asked to be allowed to live and learn with them as his earthly parents.
The Father replied, “My child, it is but a short time before I call Don Home. This will make your journey more difficult. Consider these things carefully, and let Me know your will.”
The child went away and returned shortly. “I have decided, my Lord. I admire him so much that I would rather have Don as my earthly father for a short time than anyone else for a lifetime. I want to look like him, walk like him, and if it pleases You, I would like to have his name. Lisa is gentle and kind and will be a good mother. I believe I will be of great comfort to her.”
“What is it you would like to learn, My beloved, while you are there?” inquired the Creator.
“I should like to learn strength from my experiences and use my strength, along with the wisdom of my mother and the valor of my father, to make the world a better place. To remind me of You and my Home, I would like to take with me some of what I now see reflected in Your eyes. I would like my eyes to remind the world that You are.”
And with that, God created a baby for Don and Lisa. He whispered that special name in their hearts, and they said, “God has surely smiled on us, and this is truly good.”
But before they knew it, it was time for Don to go Home. He had learned courage and honor. He knew good.
When he arrived Home, he looked at the streets of gold and the place that God had prepared for him. It looked the same as before, but somehow seemed different. Don was different, too. He shined more brightly than before. Most importantly, he understood. He appreciated. HOME WAS GOOD, AND HE KNEW IT!
God welcomed Don back to Heaven with great celebration, for He loved His child without measure and missed him while he was gone. Don joyfully greeted the Father and all his brothers and sisters who had anxiously awaited his return. Then in a moment of quietness, the Father and son reflected on all that transpired while he was out in the world. Don sighed and looked out where he once lived and said, “Father, my wife and my son are in such pain. How can we help?”
The Father gazed lovingly at the two from Heaven, and holding Don close replied, “My son, I am preparing a place of great joy for Lisa and your son upon their return Home, for they have known great sorrow. I will shower them with many rewards for they have known great loss. Lisa has remained consecrated to Me, and I will continue to bless her all the days of her life for that. And did you think for a moment, My child, that I would send your young son into the world without the gifts he needs for his life on Earth? Trust in My goodness and mercy. That young boy will become a man of great love, strength, and compassion because he has what he needs to make it so. The world will be a better place because he lives in it. And Lisa, my beloved daughter, will know, appreciate, and understand great love because of her life.”
“For now, let us send legions of My angels to minister to her and to the boy. The angels will care for them and keep them safe until it is time for each to return Home. Let us also surround them with good family and good friends to help them through the pain. You and I, Don, will whisper into their hearts and minds that they are a part of us. We will continue to remind them that even when they cannot see us, we are never separated. Ever.”
And that, my friends, was my story, first for Lisa, but somewhere along the line, it helped me, too, for I wrote this years before I buried pieces of my heart with my nephew, my own beloved son shortly after, followed all too quickly by my precious Meghan. If you have gotten this far in the story, then you have glimpsed deep into the mind of Mama B, and maybe you can better understand where my hope comes from, how I still find great joy in my life, and why I am at peace. And yes, it is good, AND I KNOW IT.