Personal Savior

The first part of this story was published yesterday here.

“Well, you gotta do it. You just have to say the sinner’s prayer. And then you’re saved for sure. And then we can just play catch and ride bikes and stop worrying about this all the time. Don’t you just want to maybe just do it? Can’t we just say it? It’s real quick. And I know it by heart on account of my family always goes to church and I’ve heard it a million times.”

“Yeah, you go all the time. I don’t like church. Do you just hate going but you have to, so you just go anyway and everything? And just have to sit there?”

Foy saw a stick and picked it up. He wanted to bang it on the fence the way Mickey did. He stepped in front of Mickey and whacked his stick along the chain link fence three times as hard as he could.

“No. Yeah. Well, kind of. No, church is okay sometimes. Big church is boring, but there’s these new Bibles with cool pictures in them, so I look at them if it gets boring.”


“Mickey, you gotta get saved. You need to say the sinner’s prayer. You know you’re a sinner, right? You know that, right?”

“Yeah, I guess. Well, what’s a sinner?”

“What? You don’t know what that is? Everybody is. Sinning is when you do bad stuff and… You’ve done bad things sometimes, right? Everybody has.”


Okay then, so you’re a sinner. That’s all that means. And Jesus died for you, right? You just have to believe that. That Jesus died on the cross for your sins.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard about that.”

“Okay then. Now you just say the sinner’s prayer. I can help you say it.”

Foy looked around. There was a small shed at the back of a yard they were passing. Foy pointed to a space behind the shed.

“Let’s just go back there and you can pray and get saved.”


They went behind the shed and Foy knelt. Mickey knelt beside him.

“Just say what I say. Just kind of follow me. I’ll lead you just like the revival preacher does. Only you have to really mean it, okay? You do, right? Cause otherwise it might not count.”

“No, I mean it.”

“Good. Here we go.”

Foy put his hands together and bowed his head. Mickey did the same. Foy looked at him and was satisfied Mickey had assumed an appropriate posture.

“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner.”

Mickey didn’t say anything. Foy whispered, “Just say what I say, only you gotta mean it.”

“Oh. Dear God, I’m a sinner.”

“I know Jesus died for my sins.”

“I know Jesus died for my sins.”

“So….wait, I gotta remember the next part.”

Foy looked at the ground around his knees, frantically, as if the next line of the prayer might be found there.

“Uh…so Jesus, I just want you to come into my heart and live there, nicely, and be my personal savior.”

“I just want you to come and live in my heart…that last part’s long, Foy. Break it into littler pieces.”

“Sorry. Uh, so Jesus come live in my heart.”

“Jesus, come live in my heart.”

“And be my personal savior.”

“And be my personal savior.”

Foy paused, trying to remember if he had left anything out.

“I want to be a Christian and go to heaven, and I believe everything I’m supposed to.”

“I want to be a Christian and go to heaven. I believe all the stuff I’m supposed to.”

“Cross my heart.”

“Cross my heart and hope to die.”



They two boys rose and stood looking at each other.

“Well,” Foy said. “You did it.”

“I know.”

“So, you’re saved now. You’re going to heaven. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not saved, cause you are all right. Once saved always saved. Wait, I forgot to tell you about that. There’s no take-backs. You’re going to heaven now, no matter what.”

“Even if I do bad stuff?”

“Well, you’re not supposed to do bad stuff. But you’re saved, so I guess no matter what.”

The two boys emerged from behind the shed and resumed walking to school. Foy skipped with excitement for a block and then fell back into step with Mickey.

“Mickey, do you feel any different inside, now that you’re saved?”

“No. Are you supposed to?”

“Some grownups say you’re supposed to feel different. My Sunday school teacher told me that after you’re saved, the roses look redder and the sky looks bluer.”

“Did they look that way after you were saved?”

“No, but that doesn’t mean anything. I asked my dad about it, and he was kind of mad. He said she shouldn’t have said that to me.”

Mickey looked up.

“The sky looks the same for me too I guess.”

Foy put his arm around Mickey’s shoulders.

“It’s okay. It’s different for everyone. But you and me are saved. We’re going to heaven.”

  • Anna

    I’m curious to see where Foy takes us. I remember feeling the pressure as a kid, to save my fellow classmates. I came from the evangelical fire and brimstone kind of places. It was always deeply impressed upon us that we could be the person to save someone’s eternal life. And if we didn’t how disappointed Jesus would be in us. That’s a lot of pressure for a 6 year old and doesn’t make you very popular on the playground when you take it too seriously. Thanks for stretching us with your stories.

  • Leslie

    Reminds me of “The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan”. The Pilgrim’s journey is on a narrow path, filled with trials, tribulations and hardship, which starts when you find and enter the gate. I don’t think you enter the gate by saying The Payer.


    I don’t know how old these kids are, but if this is real it’s kind of sad. They don’t know the whole truth about being saved… We have to spread the gospel more clearly and directly, because Jesus is coming right back!

  • closet pentecostalist

    Foy’s a sweet kid–confused on faith, but not on friendship. How is it that as we get older we lose the courage to take responsibility for the souls of our friends? Is it really sensitivity and respectfulness on our parts when we soft-pedal the faith issues? (Of course, I’m just speaking of myself, here.)