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Heaven Is for Real

Heaven Is for Real

What do Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Colton Burpo of Omaha, Nebraska have in common? 

The answer, for those of you who have not read the Daily Mail today, is that both have been to Heaven.

Jesus still lives up there, of course, as he has for 2000 years following his execution in Judea during the Roman occupation.  Colton’s visit was more recent, and if only fleeting all the more remarkable for it. 

About ten years ago, when he was four years old, it seems he popped in for a brief visit while under anaesthetic during an operation for a burst appendix.  Young Master Colton may not have been in Heaven more than an hour or so but, remarkably for one so young, he took careful note of everything he saw and experienced.    

Among other adventures, he sat on Jesus’s lap, patted a multi-coloured, striped horse and was serenaded by winged angels.  Jesus, he mentioned, wore a beard and a crown and had pretty sea-blue eyes. Oh, yes, and red ‘markers’ on his hands and feet.  Everyone flew around on wings except Jesus, who apparently “went up and down like an elevator”.  Colton doesn’t explain why Jesus went up and down, but then some things simply can’t be explained.  Anyway, Jesus always made a point of levitating.  It’s mentioned quite often in the New Testament.   

Colton saw God, too, but found Him (him, the cynics will insist) simply too ‘vast’ to describe.  He was also rather vague about the Holy Ghost, who he described as “kind of blue”.  Even that nasty old Satan put in an appearance, though poor little Colton was apparently, and quite understandably, too upset to describe him (no Him for this Devil).   

Anyway, all these remarkable experiences have been faithfully – and, yes, lucratively – recorded in a book by Colton’s father Todd, a Methodist minister.  It’s called Heaven Is For Real, and not surprisingly – given the message of hope that Colton’s story will bring to millions – it went straight into the New York Times paperback best-seller list.  The book has now been adapted for the silver screen.

I doubt that I’ll buy it as I’m rather behind in my reading right now, but I can’t wait to see the film.  I’ve seen a brief excerpt and I must say it looks pretty exciting.  And no doubt it will be pretty inspiring, too.

I can only guess what those head-shaking atheists, Dawkins and the rest, are saying right now.  How could a four-year-old, with no training as a journalist, be so specific in his observations?   How much money has Dad made from the book, not to mention the film rights?  And who’s to say that Colton, critically ill in hospital at the time, wasn’t just hallucinating?   

Well, let them scoff and chortle all they want.  A four-year-old wouldn’t be capable of making it all up, would he?   And surely Dad, a respected man of the cloth, wouldn’t stoop to making a pile of moolah from it, would he?     

Nor can one doubt for a moment that the Daily Mail, a newspaper justly renowned for its responsibility in bringing us the Truth At All Costs, would be so cavalier as to publish a story without having ascertained through its normal vigorous editorial scrutiny that the story is both credible and significant. 

The unbelievers can go to Hell, as they surely will.  And let’s just see how many of them come back to tell the tale.

I, for one, hope they do.  Then we can look forward to a sequel:  Hell Is Also for Real.  

Now that will really be a hot ticket.

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