"Mommy, can I take my blanket with me to heaven?" His face is snuggled into his blue blanket, satin and plush, the love of his life for nearly six years now.
"Well, when you get to heaven, God will give you a new one, if that's what you need."
He ponders this. He studies his blanket, threadbare and stained.
"Will the new one have stains? Because I have these two stains from juice and hot chocolate."
I think of the many things I'm told will be spotless, without blemish.
"It will be perfect. No stains."
He thinks more on this. Traces the stains with his long fingers.
"Mommy, I don't want a new one. I want this one. Can't I just take this one?"
I have to be honest: we were nearing bedtime, and I was painfully aware that if I told this child God would not allow him to bring his blanket into heaven, neither of us would get any sleep tonight. Also, I would give my son a portrait of a jealous God who is unforgiving and without grace for the items of comfort in our lives.
So, I reminded myself of all the things I don't know. And maybe all those who say "you can't take it with you"... maybe they don't know either. Maybe Tyler will look down at his new hands, and he'll see his beloved blanket, stained and loved. I don't know. Maybe.
Maybe he'll be 95 years old by then, and he'll search his memory for why this blanket mattered to him in the first place. I don't know. Maybe.
If I were a legalist, I would say absolutely not, and you must not sleep with your blanket for 40 nights because obviously it has become an idol in your life.
So, good thing I'm not a legalist, then. That's a lot of sleepless nights for everyone involved.
The question behind the question is actually, "Mommy, will I feel safe in heaven?"
"Sure, buddy. You can take it."
"I can?!? I can take this blanket to heaven?" He holds it up to me, just to clarify. This blanket. This one, right here.
"So, Mommy," again, just to clarify, "when Jesus comes down on a cloud of angels, I can run and get my blanket?"
God knows his heart - and mine. And I think when it comes time to prove who was right or wrong, we'll have greater things on our minds.