(Here’s the boy-author whose message inspires so many.)
I saw him on the Today Show and frankly, he’s adorable. The 11-year-old sat there on the couch, beside his parents, Todd and Sonja Burpo, appearing polite and unbelievably comfortable in the company of show host Matt Lauer. His modesty is all the more refreshing since he’s become famous.
It happened when Colton Burpo was a little tyke of 4. He’d had pain in his abdomen for days and his parents assigned his distress to one of the many childhood maladies (his older sister had been ill before him with a stomach flu). As a result, they never took him to the doctor. That was a critical error since little Colton had suffered a burst appendix.
When he worsened, they rushed him to the hospital where, following tests, the parents learned the dismal truth: Bobby was precariously close to death due to toxins that coursed through his system.
That’s where his story really gets interesting.
He lay in the hospital for 17 days. During one of two operations, he claims he went to Heaven where angels “sang to him.“ Then, too, he “sat on Jesus’ lap” and met his great grandfather (his Dad‘s grandfather), a man who had “a big smile and really big wings.” The most amazing part of his story is his meeting and speaking to his little sister (the one who Mom miscarried in the first months of pregnancy). The child came up to him and hugged him (the parents claim they never knew the sex of that child).
Yep, they were all there to greet him in Heaven, a beautiful place that, according to him, is awash in vibrant color. He went on to say that no one there is feeble, old, or wrinkled. In fact, Bobby said they were all roughly 20-30 years of age (I guess 30 really is the cut-off date for “young.“)
When Matt Lauer offered that many would suspect the young boy’s account based on the fact his minister-father “wants to see Christ in everything,” the parents offered they, too, had their own doubts initially, but they cast them aside when Colton told them things he could never have known: For instance, he knew where his Dad stayed during the critical hours his son fought for life (Colton looked down on his Dad from above); he knew, too, that his sister’s birth never occurred though his parents had never mentioned her loss to their son.
Why’s he telling his story now? Years ago, his father began referencing Colton’s experience from the pulpit. When people pressed the boy for more information, his story became a source of inspiration. That prompted others to suggest he should capture that account in book form, and so he did, with co-writer, Lynn Vincent. The end result? The book, “Heaven Is For Real,” came out last November; it’s been consistently on the New York Times Best Seller List and has sold 1.5 million copies; and it soon will be translated into other languages.
Even more amazing, the family has committed the book’s proceeds to charities.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy, indeed, that someone is becoming famous today for doing good works, one who strives to put out an uplifting message (as his surely is). I just have a couple questions. In Colton’s Heaven, why does Grandpa have bigger wings than others? (Don’t tell me there’s a caste system –even there?)
Then again, “Why isn’t anyone older than 30?” I truly hope Heaven doesn’t discriminate regarding “age.” But then again, maybe Heaven’s an ideal that’s person-specific. In other words, since Colton’s young, his perfect beings would be young (even Great Grandfather).
Aside from these issues, I was heartened to hear Colton’s Heaven is pet-friendly (he said there were “many animals”), and his words are balm to a pet-lover’s ears: Whatever pets you’ve had in this life, you’ll reconnect with in the next.
Whatever the case, this young boy’s message offers hope that Heaven is a definite place where we’ll go on to meet up with whomever we lost in this life. Who wouldn’t want to believe that?
(Click on the link to access Colton’s appearance on Today: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42191453/ns/today-today_people/
Pastor Rob Bell’s book, “What If There’s No Hell?” posits the other side of this…He’s written a book, too. Just click on the following link to hear his controversial stand and why he believes the way he does.
Biddy wonders: “What’s your thoughts on all of this? Do you believe in Heaven? If so, what do you think it’s like? “If not, what do you think happens?” Click the buttons below to Comment or to send this out to others….