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Not Quite

Growing up, I was a Mema’s girl, and why not? She always made me feel as if I were the most important person in the world, buying all of my favorite foods when I came to visit, drawing bubble baths for me, and waiting patiently for me to get my quarter’s worth out of the mechanical horse at the grocery store. What’s more, she is the only person ever to announce my entrance into a room with, “And now, the one, the only, Angela Dee!” Understandably, I got homesick for my Mema quite often when I was little. I still do.

One Sunday morning when I was about seven years old, my Mema, who lived almost two hours away at that time, appeared unexpectedly in the hallway outside of my Sunday school class. My heart did a happy little flip. Without hesitation, I dropped my Sunday school artwork and Precious Moments Bible and ran toward her, arms outstretched.

“MEMA!” I cried.

She hesitated for just a moment before squatting down to my level, though, and even as I embraced her, I knew something wasn’t right. Though she had blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and wore plenty of gold jewelry, this Mema hadn’t smiled or called my name. This Mema was too small in my arms, too bony. I froze. This Mema wasn’t hugging me back. Heart pounding, I pulled back just enough to look into deep, violet eyes that were not quite my Mema’s.

It’s fascinating to scroll through Facebook and Twitter feeds these days. People are very open about their personal lives, and I am encouraged to see how many people are really trying to make a difference in the world, praying for the sick, giving of their time and money, and reading and quoting their Bibles openly. These are all good things in and of themselves, but I really wish that I could scroll through hearts as well.

I would love to know for sure that these people I know and care about are doing good things because they belong to Jesus and are living to please Him. I hope with all of my heart that He is the source of their apparent passion because, eternally speaking, good works and good intentions count for nothing outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. What a nightmare it would be to run into eternity with confidence only to find that what you had embraced here on earth, though worthwhile and good, was not quite Jesus after all and, therefore, not quite salvation.

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