By Linda Porter Carlyle
MacKenzie Isabelle Evans turned her fork slowly around and around. She lifted it in slow motion toward her mouth. The spaghetti slid off, back onto her plate. Mac frowned. She stuck her fork into her pile of spaghetti, then she stared, unblinking, at the salad bowl in the middle of the table.
Dad looked at her. “What’s the matter?” he asked.
Mac jumped. “Nothing!” she exclaimed. She looked down at her spaghetti, wound some around her fork once again, and stuffed it in her mouth and chewed.
Dad looked across the table at Mom. “When was the last time she was this quiet?” he asked. “She hasn’t said anything for at least five minutes.”
“She is awfully quiet,” Mom agreed. She reached over and put her hand on Mac’s forehead. “No fever,” she said.
Mac pulled away. “I’m not sick!” she exclaimed. “I’m just being thoughtful!”
Dad laughed. “Maybe you could share with us what you’re thinking about,” he said, reaching for a slice of garlic bread.
Mac frowned again. “I don’t think I want to,” she said.
Dad put the garlic bread on his plate and set down his fork. “This sounds serious,” he said. “What’s up?”
Mac was silent. Then one single tear slid down her cheek. She hurriedly brushed it away. “I did something I wasn’t supposed to, and I think it’s going to give me nightmares!” she whispered.
Dad’s eyebrows went up. “What did you do?” he asked.
“When I was at Cara’s house this afternoon, she wanted to watch this movie about space aliens,” Mac began. “And I know I’m not supposed to watch those kinds of movies, but I did watch part of it, and I’m sorry! It was really scary!” She swallowed. “There were all these guns, and rockets, and bombs, and stuff. It was horrible!” Mac shuddered.
Dad was quiet for a minute. “I’m sorry you decided to watch the movie,” he said. “But I can tell you we are not going to be invaded by aliens.”
“I know,” Mac said with a shaky little laugh. “But it sure seemed real when we were watching it!”
“We will be invaded one day though,” Dad went on.
“What do you mean?” Mac asked, her eyes wide.
“Well,” Dad answered, “you know how all the people in the movie were frightened to death, and it seemed like the end of the world to them? One day, it really will be the end of the world. Our world will be ‘invaded’ by Jesus. He will come on a huge cloud with millions of angels, and it will be the end of the earth as we know it. It will be a much, much more dramatic event than the alien spaceship invasion you watched in that movie!”
Mac put down her fork. “My Sabbath School lesson says that every eye will see Jesus when He comes, not just one big city of people. And the dead people will be raised up, and we’ll be pulled up to meet Him in the air!” She shook her head. It was almost too big a thought to understand.
Mom smiled. “I knew a pastor once who drove a VW convertible. He liked to drive with the top down. The pastor joked that it would be easier to see Jesus that way if He should come while he was in his car.”
“Wow!” Mac exclaimed. “When Jesus comes, all the cars will stop along the freeways! And everybody in their houses and in their offices will rush outside and look up! Everybody in the whole world will stop what they are doing! The sky’s going to be crowded with all those angels, and all the people rising from the dead, and all the people going up to meet Jesus!”
“The more crowded the sky, the happier Jesus will be,” Dad said. “Jesus would like to take every single person to heaven to be with Him. He has invited everybody, you know.”
“When Jesus comes, He won’t shut out the sun like the alien spaceship either,” Mom said. “Jesus will be even brighter than the sun! And you won’t be afraid. You’ll be happier than you’ve ever been in your whole life! Because you love Jesus.”
Mac reached for a piece of garlic bread. She took a big bite. “The alien invasion was just make-believe,” she said, her mouth full. “But Jesus is really, truly coming back to get us! I want to go to heaven! I can hardly wait!”