Looks like you are using an old version of Internet Explorer - Please update your browser
“What’s wrong, Jessie?” asked Justin as he opened the back door to let Jessie in. He stared at her in alarm.
Jessie sniffled and wiped tears off her cheeks. “Did you hear that Mrs. Smith died today?”
“She did? Oh, no. She was the nicest lady in the whole church!” Justin replied.
“I know. I’m sure gonna miss her.”
“Who are you kids talking about?” asked Justin’s mom walking into the kitchen. The kids explained the news. “Oh, yes, I did hear about that. It’s sad to see her go, but she was 95 years old, and her health was pretty bad.”
“My mom and dad said we’re going to go to her funeral on Saturday. Are you guys going?” Jessie asked.
“Yes, I think we should all go to her memorial. We’ve known Mrs. Smith for a long time. I met her for the first time when she came to cook dinner for me and Dad right after you were born, Justin.”
“Hey, isn’t she the one who gave me the musical teddy bear? It plays ‘Jesus Loves Me.’” Justin thought for a minute. “Hmm. I don’t think I ever got to tell her thank you, since I was so little.”
“I’ve got one of those bears, too!” Jessie remembered.
“Yes, Mrs. Smith absolutely loved all the kids in the whole church. I wouldn’t be surprised if every one of them has a bear like yours. Come to think of it, even Ellie has one.”
“Well, I guess we’ll see you at church on Saturday. Bye!” Jessie headed home. She felt better after talking about the nice things Mrs. Smith had done and remembering her own special bear.
Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. Everyone came to the church—it was packed with people who had loved Mrs. Smith and had been loved by her in some way. Justin’s and Jessie’s families sat together near the back. Justin looked around the room. Colorful flowers were everywhere. Justin knew people always brought flowers to a funeral, but he was puzzled when he saw balloons bobbing here and there among the flowers..
“Jessie,” he whispered, “what are the balloons for?”
Jessie shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe Mrs. Smith liked them?”
Soon Pastor Jenkins walked up front, and everyone grew quiet. He talked about Mrs. Smith’s life and all the ways she had helped at church. A young woman sang one of Mrs. Smith’s favorite songs called “Jesus Is Risen!”
Then Pastor Jenkins spoke again. “Edith Smith brought the joy and love of Jesus to many people. She gave me this note to read to everyone, especially all you kids.”
Pastor Jenkins unfolded the note and read, “Dear precious children, you don’t need to feel sad when I am gone because I will be in heaven with Jesus, rejoicing and celebrating! You know that Jesus died to pay for our sins, but I want you to understand that Jesus also conquered death and rose again. Remember, all who believe and put their trust in Jesus will have eternal life with him, and we will see each other again in heaven someday!”
“So kids,” the pastor said as he folded up the note, “today Mrs. Smith wanted each of you to take a balloon outside and let it go up into the sky as a reminder of what Jesus has done. Are you ready?”
“Yes!” all the kids replied. They each grabbed a balloon on their way outside to the front lawn of the church.
“Ready? Three, two, one!” Pastor Jenkins counted down, and all the children let go of their balloons and watched as they rose—up, up, up!
“Beautiful!” “Wow!” “Lovely!” people exclaimed as they gazed at the balloons rising into the sky.
“Ellie,” said Justin looking down at his little sister, “you’re supposed to let go of the balloon.” Justin reached for Ellie’s balloon string, but Ellie whipped it away.
“No, my bawoon!” she cried as she clutched the string with all her might.
“Oh dear,” said Justin’s mom. “Ellie, Honey, Mrs. Smith wanted you to let the balloon go so it will fly way up high in the sky.”
“Missus Smiff? She’s in heavun?” Ellie looked up at her parents sadly, still holding tight to the balloon.
“Yes, she is. She’s in heaven with Jesus now,” Mom explained.
Ellie looked up at the clouds, then slowly lifted up her balloon and let go. “Here ya go, Missus Smiff. You can have you bawoon back. Bye bye, bawoon!” Ellie waved goodbye to the balloon as it floated through the air. Everyone clapped, and Ellie grinned from ear to ear.
“That was kinda fun,” said Justin. “I thought funerals were supposed to be sad.”
“Well, when someone dies, we are sad because we miss them,” Justin’s dad explained. “But if that person knows Jesus as Savior, they go to be with him in heaven. And there’s nothing sad about that!”
“So Mrs. Smith’s soul went up to heaven?” asked Jessie.
“Yes, that’s right. That’s what these balloons are supposed to remind us of, how Jesus rose from the dead and how we can go to be with him,” said Jessie’s mom.
“Wow!” Justin exclaimed. “That means Mrs. Smith is in heaven right now!”
“Hey! I just thought of something,” said Jessie with a smile. “When we get to heaven someday, we can tell her ‘thank you’ for our teddy bears.”
“And,” Ellie chimed in, “tank oo for da bawoons!”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.