Five year old Tommy Bradley sat at his grandpa’s funeral listening to the preacher talk about death and life after death and it was confusing to him. He wondered if his grandpa would somehow come to life again and play games with him like he always did. After the funeral, on their ride home in the car, Tommy expressed his confusion to his parents.
“Is grandpa going to come to life again like the preacher said?” he asked.
Mrs. Bradley wondered how she could explain things to Tommy so he could understand what the preacher meant. She noticed a garden center just ahead and got an idea. She asked her husband to stop at the garden center so she could buy an amaryllis bulb.
She bought the bulb and put it in Tommy’s hand and said, “This bulb is like grandpa when he died. When you look at it there doesn’t seem to be any life in it. But God has put something inside the bulb that will come to life again if you take it and plant it in some soil. I want you to take the bulb home and plant it and see what happens.”
Tommy looked at the bulb in his hand. It seemed dry and lifeless. But he did as his mother said. With her help, he put the bulb in a pot with some soil and watered it. Days went by and soon a sprout appeared. Tommy got excited as he watched the plant grow taller each day. Soon a beautiful red flower unfolded.
“Look at the beautiful flower,” Tommy’s mother said. “Once it was a bulb that seemed to have no life but now it has come to life as a beautiful flower with a wonderful fragrance. That’s how God works. When we die, God helps us bloom again. He gives us life after death. He picks us up and plants us in a new place just like you took the amaryllis bulb and planted it in a new pot with soil. That’s what the preacher meant when he said there was life after death. Grandpa won’t come and play with you again, Tommy, because God has planted him in a new place. And even though he has died you can be certain that God will give him new life.”
“Thanks, mommy,” Tommy said. “And every time I look at the amaryllis I will think of grandpa.”
by Charles Milton Lee