Google+ or Facebook, you may remember I accidentally stayed up really late a few nights ago reading an entire book. Which one, you may ask? Heaven is for Real. My mom recommended it a while ago, and I finally had the chance to check it out from the library. Originally I was just going to read a few chapters, but I ended up finishing it before I put it down. It's a quick and easy read; it's also one I've been thinking about for days.
I hate spoilers, so as usual I'm not going to give anything away. Heaven is for Real is the story of a Pastor's son (Colton) that almost dies at the age of three. A few months later, after turning four, his parents start to piece together what he really experienced: heaven.
When Colton makes a few offhand comments about God that most 4 year olds wouldn't grasp, his parents attribute it to amazing Sunday School teachers. But when he starts going into detail about God, heaven and his family's time at the hospital - including what his parents were doing while he was in surgery - they realize it's more than anything he was learning at church. They begin asking him open-ended questions about his experience, trying to find out more about it while not confining his answers to their preconceived answers.
There are a lot of things I liked about this book. One thing I really like is that it doesn't try to be more than it is; it's a father sharing his experience of a terrifying experience with his son, and his struggle to really understand what happened and allow his son to teach him about God and heaven.
I previously shared that we're going through the 40 Days of Purpose at my church, and one of the concepts Rick Warren shares is that we were made for eternity. We want to live forever, and we will; just not on this side of death. With that in mind, it's not surprising that a story about heaven is riveting enough to keep me enthralled into the wee hours of the morning.
Another important element is that everything Colton says fits with what's described in the Bible. Plus, with everything described through the eyes of a four-year-old, ideas that are revealed but hard to grasp even seem more simple.
Heaven is for Real tells Colton's story better than I can, so I'm not going to go into specific details. Instead, I'll just recommend that you find a copy of it online, in a local bookstore or at the library.