The card

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A child's drawing capture's God's message of salvation

By Ruth Neufeldt

It was the afternoon before my husband’s funeral. The family was gathered to view Emerson’s worn-out “tent,” as Paul calls it in 2 Corinthians 5:1-2,4.

And there it was. In the corner of Emerson’s casket was a sheet of red, slightly crumpled construction paper, folded in half.

“I hope you don’t mind,” said my daughter-in-law Sherrie. “Hollyn made Papa a card and wanted him to have it. Was it all right for her to put it in there?” Sherrie asked, motioning toward the casket.

“Of course,” I assured her.

I reached out and picked up the card.

“May I read it, Hollyn?” I asked.

“No, Grandma Ruth,” she said. “It’s for Papa to read, not you!”

“Okay. Okay,” I said, hastily placing the red card next to what used to be Emerson and was now just the empty shell he left behind.

The morning of Emerson’s memorial service the family and extended family gathered in the sanctuary for the “reading of the flower cards.” That done, the mortician suggested we move around and say our last good-byes before the casket was closed.

No one moved. Everyone was waiting for someone else to go first. I stood and picked up the red card.

“Hollyn made Papa a card,” I explained, holding it up for all to see. “But I don’t have permission to open it because it’s for Papa to read.”

It took only a couple of seconds for Hollyn to slip off the pew and join me.

“It’s okay, Grandma Ruth. You can open it.”

Hollyn had changed her mind.

It seemed like Hollyn had used a whole stick of glue to secure the contents of the card from unauthorized eyes.

 With much patience, I peeled the card open without too much damage.

What were those two circles and squiggly marker lines?

Hollyn’s mom, Sherrie, explained: “It’s a sink.”

I was puzzled. “A sink?”

Hollyn cleared up my confusion.

“It’s so Papa can wash before he goes to see Jesus. Dead people have to be washed and clean.” (Small children can get by with being blunt and honest.)

So that was it: The two circles were a double sink. The squiggly lines were the pipes that drained the sink.
“Yes, Hollyn, we all have to be washed and clean before we see Jesus.”

Papa Emerson was washed in the blood of Jesus when he was 13 years old. He was ready to meet Jesus. Hallelujah! 

Are you washed and ready?

Ruth Enns Neufeldt and her husband, Emerson, were married for 59 years and lived in Buhler, Kan., where Ruth continues to reside. She is a member of Buhler MB Church. Her granddaughter was 4 and one-half years old when she made this special card for her grandfather.

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