“I died. But just for a little bit.”
My heart skipped a beat. If you haven’t heard your pre¬schooler tell you he was dead, I don’t recommend it. But Colton hadn’t died. I knew what the medical record said. Colton had never ceased breathing. His heart had never stopped.
I stood in the doorway and mulled over this new tidbit as Colton returned his attention to his toys. Then I remembered that the Bible talks in several places about people who had seen heaven without dying. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about a Christian he knew personally who was taken to heaven, “Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man . . . was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." Then, of course, there was John the apostle, who described heaven in great detail in the book of Revelation….
As I stood there and thought through a scriptural basis for experiencing heaven without dying, I realized that Colton, in telling me he had died “for a little bit,” had only been trying to match up his pastor-dad’s assertion with what he knew to be the facts of his own experience. Kind of like walking outside and finding that the street is wet, and concluding, well, okay, it must have rained.
See, I had this tidy little box that said, “People have to die to go to heaven,” and Colton, trusting me, concluded, “Well, I must have died then, because I was there.”
Suddenly, he piped up again. “Daddy, remember when I yelled for you in the hospital when I waked up?”
How could I forget? It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. “Of course I do,” I said.
“Well, the reason I was yelling was that Jesus came to get me. He said I had to go back because he was answering your prayer. That’s how come I was yelling for you.”
Suddenly, my knees felt weak underneath me. I flashed back to my prayers alone, raging at God, and my prayers in the waiting room, quiet and desperate. I remembered how scared I was, agonizing over whether Colton would hang on through the surgery, whether he’d live long enough for me to see his precious face again. Those were the longest, darkest ninety minutes of my life.
And Jesus answered my prayer? Personally? After I had yelled at God, chastising him, questioning his wisdom and his faithfulness?
Why would God even answer a prayer like that? And how did I deserve his mercy?
Excerpt from HEAVEN IS FOR REAL by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. Copyright ©2010 by Todd Burpo. Published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.
Todd Burpo’s Heaven Is for Real is the true story of Colton, a pastor’s 4-year-old son, who slips from consciousness during surgery and enters heaven.
Colton survives and tells about looking down and seeing the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. Soon, it was clear that what he was telling his parents was true. Colton said he met his miscarried sister, about whom no one had told him, his great-grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us and more.
This wonderful book offers hope for those grieving the death of a loved one, with a special message for families that suffer miscarriage. Includes photos and a family Q & A.
Hardcover Book : 192 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc. ( March 18, 2011 )
Item #: 13-366209
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.5inches
Product Weight: 9.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This was a beautiful book and I intend to give it to friends for xmas .I want everyone i know to experience this beautiful book .
Reviewer: averil M
This book is truly a blessing.My father passed away 3 years ago and for some reason this past year has been really difficult for me. This book has given peace to my heart again. Great read.
I have read the book four times so far. I have given away six. I am ordering more for my public elementary library and one for our church library. I urge you to give one to your pastor's family or youth minister. Sign the inside front cover, thanking them for their work in God's Kingdom & praying for God to "shoot down power" to them. My husband, a busy Boy Scout Leader getting ready for two weeks at camp, sat down for a quick read at lunch and read it in one sitting! Enough said! Many thanks to the Burpo Family, may God continue to bless you.
Reviewer: Library A
I was a little skeptical when I got this book as a gift because children aren't usually very detailed about their near death experiences. Wow, was I wrong! This was an amazing story that transformed my views on the life after this one. I couldn't put it down once I started. I LOVE this book! It is my favorite in a long, long time. And I read a LOT!
Reviewer: B C
Well...I couldn't put it down. Read it in a day. I'm not a holy-roller either, but this book is very convincing. What a sweet boy. Reminds me of my son. Glad I read it. Now I'm not as scared of the end of life.
Reviewer: Amy W