As I read through Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, I could see myself becoming attached to the Burpo family and wanting to know more and more details about them. The book describes a story of a family, specifically their son Colton, who are a pretty typical Midwestern family. Living in Imperial, Nebraska the family seemed to be the average family: Working parents with two kids that are just trying to get by. After Todd had gone through a tough year of breaking his leg, not able to work in his side business due to injury and having a mastectomy, the family was in need of a break and time away for a vacation. The vacation that the family took was the start to the a life changing adventure.
On vacation, Colton became ill. Very ill. Extremely ill. He kept getting worse and worse, and finally they took him home to their hospital where the doctors said that he was sick, but they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. After a few days of uncertainty, the Burpos moved Colton to another hospital where it was determined his appendix had burst days previous, and he needed immediate surgery. Things did not look good. The Burpos were fearing the worst, and the worst nearly happened. However, unexpectantly, Colton makes a full recovery and eventually goes home, and back to being a child again. What happens in the coming months is where I became wrapped up, and couldn’t put the book down.
Colton began to give accounts of meeting God, meeting Jesus and having detailed descriptions of Heaven that are seen in Scripture. Not only does Colton describe Heaven, but he describes people in Heaven, including members of his family whom he had never met, and he can give details about them that they never had told him, or that a 4 year old would not know anyways. As I continued to be pulled into the story by these stories, I kept waiting for the “gotcha” moment. I don’t know why I kept waiting for something like that to occur, but the stories that Colton shares continued to bring me confidence in my own faith. What this story taught me most is that Jesus loves his children, and through the eyes of a 4 year old, I began to see how much He truly loves them all. There are things in this life that I can’t explain, nor will I attempt to try, and this story is one of those things. I believe that God interacts with us, and that He speaks to us in different ways. This book is just another incredible way of how God touched someone’s heart and their story can impact many lives around them.