072 - Michael's Phone Call

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

Early on in my life, I had some real misconceptions about God. I thought that He was some sort of a tyrant just waiting to ‘git me’ when I made a mistake. Ah, I’ve since come to realize that that’s not the way He is at all. He expects me to make mistakes; that’s part of the plan. I mean, how else can I learn? When I have problems therefore, I need to see my Heavenly Father as approachable, as a friend and a confidant, not fear Him as some sort of Celestial prosecutor or something. Now, maybe this story will illustrate what I mean.

Grandpa, or Papa as the family called him, was going to die. His illness was growing worse. Mom and Dad had accepted the fact and they were prepared. But what about four-year-old Michael? How were they going to prepare him for his grandfather’s death? Papa and Michael enjoy a special relationship.

Then one day, an opportunity came. Michael asked his mother, “When is Papa getting better?”

Choosing her words carefully, Mom answered, “I’m afraid Papa’s not going to get better, Honey.”

“What’s going to happen to him?”

“When people get very old or very sick, they have to die. We all have to die someday, but Papa’s going to … be with Heavenly Father.”

Well, satisfied with that, Michael ran off to play. But on their next visit, Michael watched Papa very intently. As they were about to leave, Michael spoke up.

“Are you going to Heaven?” he said to his grandfather.

Papa chuckled and said, “Ah, I sure hope so. But that’s [it’s] up to God, not me to decide.”

Michael appeared deep in thought. Then suddenly, he went straight to a toy box that Papa kept in the room for the grandkids, and he began digging around in it. Finally, he found what he was looking for, an old battered play telephone. And for the next few minutes, Michael was in earnest conversation on the phone with someone. Mom and Dad just thought he was playing, and didn’t pay any attention. Pretty soon Michael hung up the phone. He was so happy, he was beaming. He turned to his grandfather and he announced,

“I told Heavenly Father you were coming up. He said everything was fixed up for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

The room fell silent. Tears came easily to the adults as the spirit of something sacred and holy entered. Michael’s phone call had indeed gotten through, and now Heavenly Father through him was answering them all – just as He will with us.

There is no problem that we can’t and shouldn’t take to Him. He is our best, first, and most approachable friend. Have you talked to your friend lately?

Adapted from “A Call From A Four Year Old” by Eileen Bailey, Ensign, Oct. 1979, p. 48
Glenn Rawson – January 1998
Song: I Know He’s There – Afterglow