When Jesus came to Earth, He brought heaven.
Everything and everyone He touched became heaven.
Because He was here.
He taught heaven.
People who loved Him learned it.
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:31-34)
So what’s the difference?
What’s heaven like?
Who are the sheep?
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:35-40)
Done it unto me.
How we treat other people.
When I was growing up, I had mixed feelings about parent teacher conferences.
I was a good student, and I tried hard in school, but somehow the meetings still made me nervous.
I remember one specific parent teacher conference my dad came with me.
My sister had one on the same night, so my mom went with her.
It was a divide and conquer type of night.
My dad sat next to me in the tiny chairs in my elementary school classroom, and we talked with my third or fourth grade teacher.
I was excited for him to see my latest art project, hear about how good I was on my green recorder, see the great score I got on my last math test, and to hear about all the books I had read so far.
My teacher went through all of those things with him.
He oohed and aahed at all the right times.
At the end of the conference however, he surprised me.
My teacher asked if he had any questions.
I started to stand, thinking it was time to go.
“Yes, actually” he said.
I sat down and looked up at him.
“It sounds like Maddie is doing great in school,” he said,
“but I would like to know, Is she kind?”
Is she kind.
My teacher was surprised.
So was I.
Was she kind?
In that moment, my teacher was able to share that I had been kind to my classmates.
My dad beamed at that.
As we walked back to the car, I had a little skip in my step.
I also had a firm realization of what was really important to my dad.
As cool as the test scores and art projects were, he wanted me to be kind.
I don’t know exactly what judgement day will be like.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a lot like that parent teacher conference.
I’m sure we’ll be excited to show Him things-
maybe talents, accomplishments, education, a marriage, a great career, a beautiful home or family.
Our Heavenly Father will ooh and aah at all the right times.
But at the end I think He’ll ask,
“But were you kind?”
I hope with all of my heart that in that moment my answer will be,
And I think He’ll be happy.
Maybe He’ll beam.
And I’ll have a skip in my step.
Because it’s not about me, but how I make others feel.
That’s what makes Him happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!