A good friend gave me the best seller by Todd Burpo for my birthday. The title is, "Heaven is for Real." Over a million copies have been sold. Most would consider this a nonfiction, inspirational book full of unexpected delight. Three year old Colton grew sick and underwent emergency surgery due to a ruptured appendix. He struggled for survival. As a parent I connected immediately with the young parents fearing for the well-being of their child. Colton recovered and is now a healthy boy of eleven. The circumstances I just mentioned are not the heart of the story, merely the setting where the story begins. It is after the recovery, many months afterward when Colton shares his experience in heaven. He doesn't doubt what he saw, he doesn't wonder if he hallucinated, he believes in heaven because he visited there.
Listening to Colton's story unfold as he reveals things he couldn't possibly know would melt the most cynical among us. He knew where his parents were during his surgery. He saw them, he says. He talked to family members he never met, he described heaven with child-like wonder, spoke of things that are mentioned in the Bible, but he revealed their beauty as if he had witnessed it personally. He said he sat on Jesus' lap.
Todd Burpo does a pretty good job retelling his story. He struggles at the beginning, using reflection to get the story going. The reader quickly understands Burpo has trouble coping with his son's revelations of heaven. Burpo, a minister, is shocked to hear stories of heaven from his son. He believes in heaven, but the intimacy of Colton's descriptions leave him speechless. His son has become the expert and he the student. It is a nice reversal role and Burpo does a good job in describing his dumbfoundedness in what Colton shares with him.
Burpo wrote a compelling story and I highly recommend this book. It's a quick read that will leave you feeling hopeful for mankind, at least I felt better after reading it.
If you have had a chance to read, "Heaven is for real," share with us your views. Perhaps you have a recommendation of another book, as well. We'd love to hear from you.
Til next time ~