I give away lots of books to people I come across, believing God gives me divine appointments every day. I often used to wish I had just the right book to give to kids. Since Heaven for Kids came out two years ago, I’ve written Wait Until Then [now out of print] and Tell Me about Heaven. Although I could give teenagers The Ishbane Conspiracy, written with my daughters, and many of my other books too, until Heaven for Kids I didn’t have anything to give pre-teens.
The day the first shipment of Heaven for Kids was delivered, Nanci and I drove to someone’s house that we’d never been to before or since. When we pulled up, outside the house next door a boy about ten years old was sitting on the curb. His head hung, and he looked miserable. I walked over to him and said, “Nice day, huh?”
“Yeah,” he said, “but I can’t ride my bike. Tire’s flat.”
“Bummer,” I said. “Do you like to read?”
“Yeah,” he said, still looking like his dog had died. I handed him Heaven for Kids. He looked at the boy on the cover, on the tire swing, smiled and said “Cool! You’re really giving me this?”
“Sure,” I said.
“Wow. Thanks!” He opened it and started reading.
I entered the house, then nearly an hour later glanced out the front window. There was the boy, still sitting on the curb, and still reading Heaven for Kids.
That was God’s gift to me, seeing in that boy’s hands the first book I’d ever written that I knew a ten-year-old would understand and enjoy. And it had special meaning because I vividly remember when I was his age, how I loved to read, and had never heard the gospel then, and wouldn’t for another five years. (If I’d read a book then in which someone cited portions of The Chronicles of Narnia, I’d have checked them out of the library in a heartbeat.)
Thank you, Lord, for your kindness. And though I may never see that boy again in this life, I pray I’ll see him in Your presence. And if I do, I know he’ll never look miserable again—and maybe we’ll spend a day together on the New Earth, riding bikes and talking about books and giving all praise and glory to You!
Photo by Nehal Patel on Unsplash
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.