Sometimes I think on it, allowing my imagination to run away, but generally all that’s gained is a longer list of questions. I mean, what enjoyment could there possibly be in an eternity of harp strumming? And the scriptures say our body will be restored – but really, couldn’t God give me something more ‘heavenly’ – Jennifer Hawkins’ body would do.
Some of us wonder about heaven for more meaningful reasons. We have lost a loved one and we consider whether they made it, or how they are occupied ‘up there’.
I have just read the most profound story of a nearly four-year-old boy who experienced heaven as his body was lying on an operating table. Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo (little Colton’s dad), is a slip of a book (163 pages) that I read in about three sittings in the lead-up to Christmas.
God told me to read it. No joke, it happened like this: a friend told me about it, a complete stranger called me and recommended it and a colleague’s wife emailed me and said it was worth my time. As if that wasn’t hint enough, a friend from my church then gave me a copy.
This happened after I shared publically about the baby we lost 12 weeks into the pregnancy (read that post here).
Okay God, I said. I’ll read the book.
Without giving too much away, it was such a comfort to hear how Colton met the sister he never even knew about. Colton’s mum had a miscarriage at 8 weeks, but they chose never to tell Colton as he was so young at the time. After his near-death experience, he told his parents that he met her, played with her.
I know, it sounds far-fetched. But give it a chance. Read it. And not just if you’ve experienced loss.
What impacted me most about this book was the vision of heaven it conjured, the importance of children in God’s kingdom, and the power of prayer. This book has altered my faith, re-oriented it in a less complicated, serendipitous direction.
It all hinges on something Jesus said;
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
We’ve got so much to learn from kids.
Heaven is for Real
A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
By Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
Thomas Nelson, 2010