Nellie’s Palm Branch
We are approaching the Easter season. This Sunday is known as Palm Sunday, in memory of the day many Israelites waved palm branches to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. He was riding on a donkey and the crowds were cheering. It could be that some of the same people were jeering a week later when Jesus was arraigned before Pilate and condemned to die on the cross. They had expected Him to reign as a king instead of die like a criminal. It takes something special to remain true to your leader.
Henry G. Bosch, one of the 60’s and 70’s editors of the devotional booklet, Our Daily Bread, was sorting through his deceased mother’s personal effects when he came across folded piece of paper, yellow with age. Written in his mother’s 9 year old childish hand was this note: “Our Nellie is with the angels now; she is waving a little palm branch in heaven.” Henry Bosch had been told that his mother’s 4 year old sister had been an unusually spiritually-oriented child. She often talked about heaven, about saints singing and waving palm branches and especially about Jesus. One day when her father was out of town on a preaching commitment, Nellie became desperately ill with scarlet fever. This attack became so severe that the doctor could do nothing to help. She soon was at the point of death. With insight far beyond her years she told those gathered around her that she would soon be waving “a little palm branch in heaven.”
This note moved Henry Bosch to tears. Sometimes a child’s devotion is unhindered by the cares and troubles of this life.