If you believe God can do anything — absolutely anything — you will love the movie "Heaven is For Real", scheduled to be in theaters April 16. I have only seen the movie trailer, but I read the book, and this is what I remember from the true story written by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent:
When three year old Colton Burpo suffered a burst appendix and lay near death on the operating table, his father raged at God: “Where are you now, Lord? Why are you taking my son away?” God overlooked the young pastor’s angry words and miraculously healed Colton.
Months later, in a casual conversation, Colton remarked: “The angels sang to me and I sat in Jesus’ lap.” Todd Burpo thought perhaps his son had dreamed about Jesus and the angels, but in the days that followed, the little boy described his visit to heaven, and Todd realized that what his son described was, in deed, very real.
“I went up out of my body,” Colton told his dad. “When I was with Jesus, I looked down and I could see the doctor working on my body, and you were in a little room on your knees, and mommy was praying and talking on the phone.”
Over the next three years, the little boy continued to talk about heaven, what he had seen and the people he had met there. Colton described heaven as a place that needs no lights, because God and Jesus light up heaven.
He saw many children there, and one of them was his sister. Colton was surprised because he had never been told about his mother’s miscarriage. He met his grandfather who had died decades before Colton’s birth. He said he also met Jesus’ cousin whose name is John. He described Jesus who was wearing a white robe with a purple sash, and he remarked, “He has the most beautiful eyes.”
After Colton’s description of Jesus, Todd and his wife began searching for pictures and paintings of Jesus. As they looked at the pictures they would ask Colton, “Is that how He looks?” Colton would study the pictures and then say, “No.”
While searching for a likeness of Jesus, Colton’s family learned of a report CNN had run. It was the story of a twelve year old Lithuanian-American girl named Akiane Kramarik. The report described her as a child prodigy who had begun having “visions” of heaven at the age of four. Her descriptions of heaven sounded remarkably like Colton’s.
The report said that Akiane was a self-taught artist who had painted angelic-looking figures, idyllic landscapes, and a picture of a man who was clearly meant to be Christ. When Akiane was asked to describe Jesus in her own words, she said, “He’s very masculine, really strong and big, and his eyes are just beautiful.” When Colton saw Akiane’s painting of the man with beautiful eyes he said, “Dad, that one’s right. Jesus looks like that.”
Colton Burpo insists that Heaven Is Real and that not everyone can go there — only those who have Jesus in their heart.
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