Heaven is For Real
by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
Thomas Nelson, 2010
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Backhas been on my "want to read" list for a while now and I'm pleased I recently had the opportunity to spend time with this true-life story. I believe in heaven - I don't need a book to tell me that it is real, but I like to hear stories about people who have been to the other side and come back to share. I think God allows us to get those little glimpses because He knows we are a naturally skeptical people, especially when it comes to things we can't see or touch.
Todd Burpo is a Wesleyan Pastor who was very respectful of Catholicism within these pages. He tells the story of his son Colton's experience on the other side. What makes this so remarkable and believable is that Colton was only four years old. He couldn't have made this stuff up, and the theology coming out of a young boy's mouth would have made anyone take notice. He also suddenly had information about his great-grandfather who had died before he was born, and about his sister, a child lost before birth that he had never been told about. He had met both of these people on the other side.
Honestly, I don't know what heaven is like or if everyone experiences it the same way. Young Colton Burpo saw a heaven that was very consistent with what is told in the Book of Revelation and in other parts of Scripture. Some of it was even a bit scary - he saw the angels still battling Satan, although he had the assurance that God wins the battle.
The Burpos waited a long time to share their story, but eventually decided to do so because Colton wanted people to know that heaven is real, that there is something beyond this life. He also wanted people to know that Jesus really loves children. In fact, Colton told his parents this so much they got tired of hearing it! But, perhaps it is a message our society desperately needs to hear.
As with any private revelation, people can choose to believe or not, but I found "Heaven is For Real" very informative and that it offered one more small peek at the world that comes after this one.