It seems everyone is talking about Todd Burpo’s account of his son Colton’s celestial visit in Heaven is for Real. And before I get started let me say, this is NOT a literary read. So, with that said, let me dive in.
If you haven’t heard about this book, Colton Burpo had a severe case of appendicitis when he was four. He was in emergency surgery, suffering from a very high fever, and the doctors really didn’t think he’d make it. But he did. Several months after the ordeal, he started dropping one liners to his parents that made them think that perhaps he had experience more than anesthesia while he was in surgery.
Todd Burpo, the dad, is a pastor. And at the beginning of the book I have to admit, even as a Christian, I was very skeptical. I really thought that Todd was not giving Colton credit for being a perceptive four-year-old and that all of the things he was saying could easily be explained as repeating things he had heard at home and at church.
I’m not sure at what point my mind was changed, but when it did, I became fascinated with this story. There are several things Todd gives as evidence – things Colton knew after his experience that there was no way for him to know before. Like that his mom had a miscarriage before he was born. (Colton met his other sister while in heaven.) He met and talked with his great-grandfather, and afterward only recognized him in a photo that shows him in his 20’s or 30’s – a photo even Colton’s dad had never seen. There’s an additional, hard-to-explain otherwise confirmation of his experience at the end of the book that I won’t spoil here, but suffice it to say it is pretty amazing.
I guess I should say that I believe in the literal existence of heaven regardless if Colton’s story is true or not. However, every part of it is consistent with scripture, and wouldn’t it be just like God to give us an additional glimpse into eternity through the eyes of a child? I think there is much comfort and hope to be found in Colton’s story as well. Personally, I was thrilled with the fact that Colton said heaven was full of animals! I’ve always wanted to believe that Annie will be there with me, and so this gives me comforting confirmation.
What about you? Have you read Heaven is for Real? If so, what did you think, and what part did you take comfort in?
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