>Where Lions Won’t Bite

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Pumpkindoodle tilted her chin upward, but the corners of her rosebud pink lips drifted downward. Something was troubling my reflective daughter.

“Mommy?”

“What is it sweetie?”

“Can you please tell me more about Heaven? I don’t want to be dead and live anywhere without you and Daddy. I’m scared”

Quietly exhaling, I sat still with her on my lap. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I kissed her worried, wrinkled, forehead and said, “Oh Darling, Heaven is the most wonderful place.”

We had discussed Heaven and death a few times already that week, but each question I answered seemed to have left her more unsettled. Four-year-olds want answers that mesh with their immediate realities. Pumpkindoodle cannot clearly fathom the time differences between “next month” and “next year.” She cannot imagine life without her family. She only knows what it is like to be a little girl and that is her yardstick for measuring the future.

“But what kind of skin will I have?”

Oh boy, she goes straight for the unknowns. Why couldn’t she ask me about the streets?

“Well, I am not sure. God will give you a new and wonderful body.”

Her frown deepened.

“I don’t want a new body. I want to keep this body that God already made me in. I love it. It is so beautiful.”

Smiling at her precious innocence and admiration for God’s artistry, I kissed her again, and as I did, I noticed a bandage on her foot.

“Well, your new body will be even more beautiful and it won’t get any boo boos on it ever.

The corner of her mouth rose slightly.

“That is a very good thing. But I’m still not sure I want to go there. Will you go with me?”

“No one knows when they are going to go to Heaven, but I promise you that I will be there someday.”

I decided not to add that I would probably arrive at Jesus’ feet long before she did. That would undoubtedly cause more concern.

“I just really like living here in this beautiful world,” she continued.

“We do live in a beautiful world. God made it so. But people made it messy in some ways, by doing some ugly things. Heaven, will be perfect. There won’t be any mean people in Heaven. No monsters. No scary spiders or snakes. In fact, when you get to Heaven, I bet Jesus will let you pet a real lion. And the lion won’t even bite you because only gentle, friendly lions live in Heaven.”

The face of my animal-loving girl gleamed.

“Wow! That will be really wonderful. Can I run with the Cheetah’s too?”

“I think you will. And if so, can I run with you?”

“Yes, Mommy!”

“Do you know what else is great about Heaven? You’ll be able to meet people that lived on Earth before you were born, like my MemMem, and Jesus’ mommy.”

Suddenly, my marathon talker was silent, her smile radiant.

“And do you want to know the very best part about Heaven? It’s that you get to hug Jesus.”

“Ohhhh, mommy. That is going to be so awesome and so amazing!”

Then her smile wavered. I bit my lip and thought, I cannot possibly top hugging Jesus. What on earth is bothering her now?

“I don’t have to die and go to Heaven now….right Mommy? It will be a long time when I go to be with Jesus right?”

“I think so sweetie.” Oh Lord, let it be so, please let it be so. “But whenever you get there, I promise you that you will not feel sad for one second. You will be very safe. All you will feel is love.”

“That’s wonderful, Mommy. Thank you for telling me all that great stuff about heaven. I really want to pet a lion without him biting me.”

I hugged her tight and traced my index finger around her tiny freckle, and I kissed her again. And then I felt a tender sensation in my soul. I cannot imagine Heaven being more beautiful than this moment right here, right now. But it will be. Wow. One day, my daughter and I will pet a lion, right after we give Jesus a big bear hug.

The wolf will romp with the lamb, the leopard sleep with the kid. Calf and lion will eat from the same trough, and a little child will tend them. Cow and bear will graze the same pasture, their calves and cubs grow up together, and the lion eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens, the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent. Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill on my holy mountain. The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive, a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.

Isaiah 11:6-9 The Message

33 thoughts on “>Where Lions Won’t Bite

  1. >Thank you for your comment on my blog site. I just finished reading your blog site and must admit I got a tear in my eye. Your writings are beautiful and so inspiring. If you don’t mind I would like to add you to my blog buddy list.Your Sister in Christ.Barbara

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  2. >Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment with your precious girl. I remember when my son was little, one of his favorite topics of conversation was Heaven and Jesus. The innocence and awe of our kids is such a gift. = )Blessings,Tracy

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  3. >Your post left me with years in my eyes. I had a very similar conversation with my son a few years ago when our uncle passed away. Nathan had all sorts of question about death, not wanted t die and leave us, etc.It sounds like you did a fantastic job of explaning things to Pumpkindoodle! May we have more teaching moments as tender as that one!Xandra

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  4. >Matthew 19:13-15 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” That’s your Pumpkindoodle He was talking about Angel A.Blessings.PS I want to cuddle a tiger as well!

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  5. >This made me shed tears just amazing. The innocense of children is just beyond comprehension. God has created a a very wonderful thing in your family.

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  6. >Our home has been a buzz with questions of life being created as well as death. Oh how I have struggled to put my explanations in a 3 and 5 year olds understanding when my heart cries out for some of the very same answers. So I just take it one question at a time. And God gives the words. Your explanations to Pumpkindoodle were beautiful and inspiring. Makes me long for heaven even more.

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  7. >Wow – that post was beautiful. I got a real big lump in my throat because I can relate so much. My own 5 year old daughter often has very thoughtful questions about heaven too. You are an amazing writer…I’m honored that you complimented me! Thanks for that! 🙂 Nice to “meet” you! Jami

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  8. >What a sweet story! And what a gifted writer you are!Thanks for visiting my She Speaks story! I’ll be posting the rest tomorrow and the next day!

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  9. >How wonderful. You handled that so well. I might have to borrow the pet the lion thing – smiles! My children ask me about death, too. It’s so hard not to tell them too much so they don’t get scared. What a great job.

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  10. >Really really wonderful post. Don’t you just love how their little minds start to grasp these difficult things. A couple of years ago, we had a similar conversation with my daughter and when she realized she was going to be in heaven in the presence of the Lord she stopped, dropped her jaw, then smiled and said “Finally!” My husband and I looked at her asked “Finally, what?” She then proceede by saying, “I will finally be able to ask God how many hairs are on my head!” It was awesome. Goosebump awesome isnt’ it!

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  11. >Oh, that is just a very sweet conversation. Thank you for sharing it because there were some wise words in there to share with our own children. Thanks for stopping by my site. I have enjoyed yours, too!

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  12. >Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words about my “Journey” blog. I don’t get to update it as much as I like (or need to), so your comments were a surprise.I like your blog! I look forward to visiting again!

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  13. >You are doing such a wonderful job raising your girl for Him, Angela! Such profound words that can reach even us “old” people – simply amazing.

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  14. >I enjoyed this. I just tried to post a comment but I’m not sure it posted. We’ve had talks recently with our 3 1/2 year old about heaven. He had questions after he heard the word one time and will randomly bring it up now. Thank you for sharing. I may use some of the things you used when he talks about it next time so he won’t be worried. It is too hard for my mind to wrap around the greatness and wonderfulness of heaven so I can imagine it being a bit worrisom for young children.

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  15. >I remember having that conversation with my oldest at about the same age. It’s a tough one. Just hard for them to wrap their brains around. You did a great job explaining it, though.

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