I talk to James almost every day. He’s homeless and loves Jesus a lot. He frequently quotes scripture.

This morning we got into a conversation about Heaven as reward. I understand this way of thinking, I just don’t particularly agree with it. When I questioned the concept to my mother once about a year ago, she very matter-of-factly asked, “Then what’s the point of living a good life?”

Hmmmm. How about for good’s sake?

So back to James.

“Little darlin’, every day you bring me a banana,” he said. “You do it because you’re kind. That’s what Jesus said will get us into the kingdom of Heaven.”

“I understand,” I said. “But that’s not why I do it.”

“You don’t want to go to Heaven?” he said, taken aback.

“That’s not what I’m saying,” I said.

But I realized he wasn’t following, so I tried a different route.

“Suppose I found out that you were really a millionaire and the only reason I was giving you a banana every day was because I hoped to be in your will. Doesn’t that taint the kindness?”

“I see what you’re saying,” he said. “But don’t you want to go to Heaven?”

I smiled. In my own way, I’m already there.