Thanksgiving break called for catching up on some much-needed rest and reading time for the both of us. Jacob and I enjoy claiming a night looking for books at a local bookstore our date night. The date usually goes like this
1. We walk in together
2. We go our separate ways
3. Go looking for the other once we have our finds.
We then we come home to lay in bed in silence as we both indulged in our books. Its the beautiful moment of enjoying the silent moments together. Jacob’s more of a reader while I’m a talker. I like to catch him up on whats going on in my book even though he never asks, oh the beauty of marriage!
We all at one point have wrestled with the knotty questions: Why do bad things happen to good people? Does God care? Does God answer prayer? What happens when we die? I was looking for a quick read and channeling those inner questions; I figured I’d pick this book up and give it a chance with an open mind, not wanting to judge and accuse the Pastor of creating this whole thing to sell books.
The premise of the story is of a three-year-old boy named Colton Burpo and his brush with death; his parents’ renewed faith in God’s eternal plan; and a perspective of Heaven, death/dying, eternal life. After surviving emergency surgery when he was three years old, Colton slowly began sharing his life changing experience of visiting Heaven with his parents on a random night while driving to visit family. Now Colton Burpo’s story can be found on many day tv shows since the book later made movie.
The first 60 pages were just about the boys family and jobs and such. The beginning made me cringe at the thought of these parents being unfit. I wondered why this child was not taken to a hospital immediately with every sign pointing to how ill he was. The real miracle is that this child is still alive despite the parent’s poor decisions. Then finally they get into the experience on and off. The story comes from the viewpoint of the Dad, who is a pastor which don’t help when the details of Heaven coming from a three-year-old sound like details were specific and straight out of one of the father’s sermons. In my opinion, the references to heaven were minimal, and the story was more about the father than the boy.
The father finally admits that the boy did not ever officially die. I was hoping the book would take a massive turn towards the end to reveal that there was a glitch in the medical records stating that he did die. The book does alluded to this theory but that didn’t happen.
I do have to say, I side with the possible explanation that the little boy may have had an active imagination. He may not have remembered much of what happened and may have imagined much of it. Its possible to even think it was made up things in response to questioning in the years following the incident. On the other hand, maybe he did remember Heaven. Perhaps we will all see heaven as we want it to be.
Overall the story is heartwarming, fact or fiction. Overall I left with something more significant after reading this book.
I do recommend the book, even if it’s just to give yourself a little spiritual uplifting. I don’t recommend this book if
- You didn’t like going to Sunday school as a kid.
- Find yourself counting the minutes for the church to be over.
Follow the link to order your copy – Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back