by Ernie Klassek
At the sound of the sirens, I should have gone to the air raid shelter under our house like everybody else. Instead-and unbeknownst to my mother-I had taken my baby brother to the only room that still had a window not shattered by blasts or flying debris. There I stood, with my brother in my arms, watching the bombs drop. Only a foolhardy twelve year old like me would want to see what happened as they exploded, or better still, when one failed to explode. When a brick hurtled through the window, I reeled backwards. There were shards and splinters of glass all around us. I stood dazed, and my brother cried, but we were unharmed. A miracle. That's what my grandmother called it.
Come to think of it, we are all a miracle one way or another. Whether we have been through a dramatic experience or not, we are still alive, and for many of us-and while we are young-the thought of dying is the furthest from our minds. For me it was not, because my brother died from malnutrition a little over a year later.
At that time the thought of God came into my mind. Why had God saved us from injury or even death during the air raid, and now my brother was dead and I was alive?
Some might say, "If there is a God ...." To me, His existence was never in doubt, because my grandmother knew about Him, and that was enough evidence for me. Yet I never went looking for Him, and I didn't know much about Him till many years later when I read a Bible. What better way to learn about God than to read His book?
I came across lines like, "The wages of sin is death," and "All have sinned." If all people have sinned, I reasoned, all should be dead. Yet the first line had a sequel: "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." So God gives a gift called eternal life-that is, living forever-through Jesus Christ who is a great mate of ours, putting it in everyday language.
God would not give such a precious gift to anyone He doesn't know, would He? Because I also read how Jesus is going to tell some people, "I never knew you," when they boast of what they have done in this life.
Now it was up to me to get to know Jesus Christ. I came to understand that He died for our sins-the cause of death. So even when I would eventually die, I would be in line for eternal life. After all, the Bible told me that there would be a time when everybody lives again, in what is called a resurrection, a word that means rising again.
What about my little brother? He died without knowing anything about God.
I found the answer in the words of Jesus: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
Pure in heart, that was my brother. He too will rise again, and he will have no trouble getting to know Jesus, because he will see Him face to face.
As for the rest of us-who are not looking for God, but for whom God is sure to be looking one day-why are we alive?
Well, Jesus Christ may just want us to get to know Him-now.
Ernie Klassek writes from
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