Four year old Colton Burpo nearly scared his parents to death. Burst appendix and a crazy drive across Nebraska farmlands to the hospital. An anguished night of waiting.
But Colton leaves his body; sees circumstances around the hospital, the operating room, the chapel and the waiting room. In the vision/trance he then wanders over to his father’s Wesleyan Church and is serenaded in a gloriously altered sanctuary by angels.
Jesus walks down the aisle and invites him to take a trip. They pre-view Heaven and Colton is amazed at the brilliance of colours, the abundance of flowers and animals, and the throngs of happy, healed saints.
In increments he tells his Father Todd, a pastor of his experience. He assures that he wasn’t afraid of anything. It was all wonderful. He relates a meeting with Todd’s grandfather “Pop”. He had never met the man and the individual he met did not wear eyeglasses and had reverted to a much younger version of himself. Todd is overwhelmed. He had always struggled with Pop’s account of faith, or lack thereof.
Colton tells his Mom about having met a beautiful red-haired young girl who hugged him repeatedly and explained that she was the baby who had died years prior “in his Mummy’s tummy”. The gender of the miscarried child had never been made known to the parents, and the little one had never been named.
The community and the church community start to get wind of this extraordinary vision and many are disturbed in a negative sort of way. Had the child simply been brain-washed by his parents in ministry? Was this all a wishful hallucination at near death. Could the pastor be unhinged in his theology by the imaginings of a four year old?
One critical Sunday morning the Pastor decides to preach on his corroboration of the boy’s account. He knows that a majority of the congregation want to ditch him. His sermon should be heard by everyone!
The news on television has also been carrying a story about a pre-teen girl in Europe who has taken to producing breath-taking paintings based on her visions of a trip to Heaven. One of the pictures flashed on the screen is the face of Jesus. Young Colton seated in the recliner calmly affirms, “Yep, that’s Him.”
If at all possible see the movie entitled “Heaven Is For Real” starring Greg Kinnear and produced in part by T. D. Jakes.