A Mother and her Two Daughters

02 June 2011

Me, and millions of others, pondering Heaven

One of the things I have always liked about travel is the ability to be without the distractions of home and read a good book.  And that’s what I’ve done on this trip to DC.  I’ve actually read two books and now reading my third. 

The first book I read my mother recommended, even though she’s not yet read it. She shared with me a book given to her on Mother’s Day by my nieces, Emily and Olivia.  As Mom began to share the story with me, I was immediately captured.  For you see, like so many who believe in God, I have been forever curious about what awaits us at death.

If you haven’t read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, I highly recommend it.  It’s short, an easy read, and to the point – and the amazing story of a 4-year-old buy who entered into heaven when he went into unconsciousness during emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.  Months later, the young boy, Colton Burpo, begins to share bits and pieces of his brief visit to heaven, thus the book seven years later written by his father, author Todd Burpo. 

I recall the time many years ago when Anna-Lee was about the same age, a little younger.  It was a Saturday afternoon and the girls and I were napping.  Long story short, Anna-Lee woke me up to tell me there was someone in our house, downstairs in the kitchen.  Once the police arrived and confirmed that we’d had an intruder, they also confirmed children at this age can’t make this stuff up. 

And while children at this age have little capacity to relay much beyond their own experience, I began my reading with a critical eye for an embellished story by a pastor-father looking for a book opportunity.  I never found it.  Instead, I found Colton Burpo's childlike descriptions to be a refreshing depiction of what awaits each of us whose destiny is Heaven.  Colton confirms that Jesus really does love children, and he encounters his great-grandfather “Pop” who he has no knowledge of since the man died in a car accident thirty years ago, when the author was only six-years-old.  He also meets a young child who he says was a sister he didn’t know about – Colton not knowing that his mother had miscarried a child before Colton was born.  There is much more. 

Colton’s story helped me revisit a nagging question I’ve had for many years: If we know we’re going to die, why are we so afraid of it? 

Let me be clear.  I’m not saying we should give in to death, throw in the towel at times of life threatening accidents or disease.  Oh no, not at all.  Life is good, and our obsessive nature to prolong life with ordinary means is what brings about recovery, a patient’s turn for the better, survival and a renewed sense of living.  But if what Colton experienced is for real, and because Christ invited us to come to Him and receive the promise of heaven, then what is there to be afraid of? 

If the promise of heaven is not something you believe in, this book is probably not for you.  However, if you mourn the loss of someone special in your life, if you wonder if you will be reunited with those who have passed on, if you are looking to find comfort in the finality of death, this Colton Burpo’s story IS for you.   Like me, I hope you find a sense of calm and reassurance from this inspiring story. 

Another thing you might want to know – this book, Colton’s story, has been on the New York Times bestseller list for the past 27 weeks.  Click here for a great NY Times review.  No doubt, I’m not the only one curious about heaven.  

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