His name was Billy and he lived near Orillia, Ontario. However, he was now in the oncology unit of Sick Children’s Hospital.
I was visiting him at the request of his mother. She was a single mom and had to work during the week, so could not visit her only child, Billy until the weekends.
I had taken a hand held ham radio in to the unit with me to play with him and allow him to talk to some people around the province.
He was fascinated by the fact the short little antenna could send a signal that people could read a hundred miles away. We had some fun and he enjoyed himself.
Billy was in the final stages of his illness and seemed very calm about things. I dearly wanted to talk about heaven and what he could expect to see and experience when he got there.
But Billy was not giving me an opening that particular day until he asked me, “Mr. Rumford, are there dogs in heaven?” Other children have asked adults this before, but here I was confronted with the question myself. What do I say?
The Bible does not give us a lot of detail about heaven although it does give us a glimpse of some wonderful things. It says we shall be with Christ and that is far better than anything here.
We are assured we shall be free from all suffering and will be comforted and live purposeful fulfilling lives. We shall occupy some sort of official position in the universe, and we shall be feasted and entertained.
Billy missed his pet dog and was lonely for him. But what was I to say? The Bible does not refer to pet animals in heaven.
Well, what I did was to take Billy’s question as a question that was asking if he would be “at home” in heaven and would there be things there to please him.
What was I to say, that I could give a reassuring “Yes.” So I told Billy that there were dogs in heaven and he would be very happy there.
I told him some other things as well and he seemed satisfied. I have never forgotten that visit though it occurred many years ago.
You see, Billy was sure of going to heaven because he had trusted in Jesus Christ as his Saviour.
When we turn from sin and trust in Christ to forgive us, we are absolved of all guilt and declared righteous in God’s sight.
Billy trusted Christ, I have, what about you?