I just finished up the book “Heaven is for Real.’ Normally I don’t enjoy books like this that sensationalize someone’s experience of the “afterlife” and coming back, but this one pulled me in #1, because it was a child, and #2 because it has been on the New York Times best sellers list for awhile, and I wanted to read what all the fuss was about.
The synopsis of the story is this: A little boy suffers for a week or more with acute appendicitis that is untreated because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis. By the time the parents get him out of that hospital, the boy is near death. He is immediately operated on within minutes of arriving at a new hospital that actually did a CAT scan and diagnosed the burst appendix. During the surgery, the boy has a near death experience and visits Heaven. I won’t give any more details of the actual book away in case you want to read it, but I will tell you what I thought about it.
- At first I was skeptical. The boy is a pastor’s son, and certainly had lots of images of Jesus and Heaven read to him and spoken to him over his little 3 year old life. It could have been a freak of his imagination, or a very vivid dream
- The more I read, the more I believed that this little boy probably did have a vision of the real Heaven and the real Jesus. When I say “real”, I mean “real” in a way that a 3 year old boy could understand without completely getting his mind blown
- He came away from his experience with a very strong message from Jesus. “Jesus Loves The Little Children”.
My job isn’t to convince anyone that this book was real or a total fraud, but the thing that convinced me personally and made my neck hairs stand on end was this:
The father of this little boy was given the name of a little girl who had also seen visions of heaven. Akiane Kramarik began to have visions of Heaven and Jesus when she was four years old, never knowing about Jesus because her mother was an atheist. When I did a Google search for Akiane, and clicked on the first video that popped up, that’s when the neck hairs stood up. About 15 years ago, I had a dream where Jesus was sitting with me in my childhood home. He said five simple words to me that I will never forget and have clung to ever since, “I am serving your family”. His eyes shone and sparkled and held the whole universe. His look was unlike any I had seen in paintings previously. He was burly, masculine, had short curly hair and a very bushy beard. The picture that Akiane painted was the picture of Jesus from my dream, only very slight differences. When Colton, the boy who had visited Heaven saw the picture, he said there was nothing “off” about it. It was Jesus to him.
Needless to say, this book made me love Jesus more. I believe Jesus loves the little children. I believe He speaks to children in ways that they will understand. I believe He reaches the children no one else can, in ways no one else can. He reached out to me in this special way, and I am amazed by His love every single day.
I’d be curious to hear the stories of how Jesus reached out to you. He’s real. He’s alive, and at work in our world every day. Where have you seen Him?