Single ticket to Heaven - No Return!

This story starts with a young man wanting a Return train ticket from Lurgan, Northern Ireland to Dublin. But being short of cash he settled for a single. He was nervous and asked me sit beside him on the journey. He told me his horrific life-story and when he came to the end, I said, ‘John, you’ve told it all, even your sins. That’s as good a confession as ever you’ll make, so I may as well give you forgiveness and ask for the loving mercy of Jesus on your life.’

He asked me to write to his mother and say, ‘Mum I love you and want you to know, your prayers have been answered.” He wrote the four words: Mum I love you on the back of his single ticket. In more ways than one there was no return! Next morning I posted it to his Mother, with a letter of explanation from myself.

Something inside me said, ‘You may never see this young man again. You must give him some reminder of this graced moment.’ As I whispered the words to myself, I looked down at the precious rosary beads in my hands. ‘John, I want you to have these beads as a bond between us.’

‘I can’t,’ he said, ‘they are too beautiful, too precious for you to give away.’

‘That’s why I want you to have them. I wouldn’t give you trash. Keep them and use them, and not only will your Mum be happy, but your Mother in heaven will smile on you.’

Within the week, I got a telephone message from his mum. She said that John had been killed in an accident. Between her tears, she said, ‘The undertaker found a beautiful rosary beads in his pocket and brought it to me. I would never have understood, only that I got the beads and the single ticket saying “Mum I love you!” I’ll keep those beads and the train ticket and treasure them for the rest of my days.

That was a single ticket to Dublin, but a return to Heaven!

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