I judgmental. I admit it. I make snap judgments about a lot of different things. I also suffer from the "I Went to a Christian College" disorder which can make some of us (me) think we know better than others. I'm working on it.
With that graceful preface, you can see why I would turn my nose up at something claiming that a child went to Heaven and then came back. I made my snap judgment that this would be a fluffy "walk into the light" story that had nothing to do with Jesus, and made blanket statements like "everyone goes to Heaven," or "all paths lead to Heaven."
But, my mother in law handed it to me, and told me that she also had presuppositions about the book and it surprised her. So, curiosity getting the better of me, I opened it.
I was humbled almost immediately. I went from an attitude of "This book is a big fat lie," to, "Could this actually have happened?" to, finally, "I believe this kid."
This is the story of a 3 year old named Colton, who was brought to the brink of death. Over the next few years, he told his parents snippets of his experience while he was in surgery, beginning with simply telling him angels sang to comfort him - only songs about Jesus, not "We will, We will Rock You," like he requested. Eventually he told them details about what he saw them doing while he was in surgery in a different room, and details about his time in Heaven that are straight from Scripture. Things a three year old - even a pastor's son, which he is - wouldn't ordinarily know. He spoke about things that defy our understanding of time, he spoke about meeting his great grandfather, and also about meeting his sister - a baby lost to miscarriage. He talks about Jesus sitting at the right hand of God the Father - who is really big. He spent time sitting on Jesus lap, being taught by Him.
I cried as I read about him meeting his sister, who told him she was so excited for her parents to join her. Tim walked in while I was crying, so I read him the chapter, and he is now reading it, and also believes this story. I won't say more, because I don't want to take away from it if you are planning to read it, but this book has changed my vision of Heaven.
I know that I can't wrap my head around what Heaven is like, but I always imagined it being really crowded for some reason...like every believer ever is in a snow globe trying to get closest to Jesus. But the way Colton describes it, it's so personal. He sat on Jesus' lap. He was sought out by family. He wasn't elbowing his way through crowds, or searching for those he knew. Everything was just right for him. It's making me think differently.
Most of all, Colton assures us, you have to know Jesus to go to Heaven. The idea of someone dying without Christ is absolutely devastating to him. Heaven is for real, and Jesus is the only means of getting there.
Read it. Let me know what you think.