My talk with the elderly woman got around to her departed husband and the features of Heaven as I have discerned them from the Good Book. Purposeful. Happy service. Worship and rich community. Peace. Recompense. The presence of the Saviour.
She had just about reached her limit. Cognitive powers and memory much diminished in her ninetieth year. Enough had been said for the time. Words meant to comfort, as life was hard.
She looked me straight in the face and sighed. "Well I hope everything will be like that."
Hope. No present assurance of salvation. Later in the car my spirit was heavy and my thoughts went to all of the comments that might have been made. Some of them tough.
'My dear woman, you can have the life of Christ starting now, and never look back. It is all a simple question of please and thanks, of offer and acceptance, of a done deal. It is not a matter of personal niceness, although most of those around you would think so and say so. It is not nice people who go to Heaven; rather it is REDEEMED ones. They have come to realize that the only human being who fully met the righteous standards of the Heavenly Father was Jesus. He obeyed perfectly, and without sinning, although often tempted. His obedience took Him all the way to the Cross as the sin offering. He made intercession there for all of us, and trusted that many would come to understand what had been accomplished; would repent like that thief on the cross and enter into the Kingdom. Father forgive them.'
There were some concepts in that imagined sermonette that would run counter to a life-time survival strategy of thinking the best, speaking positive confession, working hard and trusting in benevolent "Fate". Repentance. Sin. Cleansing. Undeserved Grace and Mercy. But I knew that the Holy Spirit was never frustrated, or without approach, as I might be in this the case of my Mother.