Breath comes slowly.
Like a clock slowly ticking down, the long years of life are coming to an end.
Reclining on the comfort of his own bed, Joe's body is discomforted as he feels the long arm of death reaching out to him. His heart too is uneasy as he recalls his past.
Gazing over to his left, he sees the young boy present by his bed side. So innocent, so pure.
"Little boy, murmurs Joe weakly----could you pray for me? His voice grows choked--I have gone astray, my little boy."
"Yes, sir. I would be happy to pray for you. What do you wish I ask for?"
"I wonder, could you ask our Lord... ask Him, little boy, to take my sins away?'
Sincerely, the boy reaches and grasps the hand of the old man. Clinging tightly, Joe closes his eyes and listens.
"Our Father, I love you. Oh, I love you! I know you love him too. Make him feel your love, oh God. Make him forget his mistakes. I know you do not remember them anymore, Jesus. I know you see snow."
Feeling comforted yet not at peace, Joe continues,
"What must I do to be holy again like you ?
Speak again, my child--I know my life has had wrong.
Speak again and help a sinner be strong."
The little boy leans closer and closer still. "He only sees me," he whispers softly in Joe's ear. "he only sees innocence."
His arm grows faint, his breathing slows, his eyes drift upward, and Joseph Louis Vito closes his eyes at peace.
Heaven opens, and an angel departs. Sweeping down, he gently scoops up a cherry-faced little boy -- so innocent, so pure -- and, grasping him tightly, soars heavenward.
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are."--I John 3:1
"Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault." Jude 1:24