I remember seeing this book on the shelf at Target a few years ago. It seemed quite popular back then, however I didn't get a chance to purchase it until recently when I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie due out this week just in time for Easter.
I wanted to read the book before the movie came out and I was able to accomplish this task in three days. I literally sat down the first night and read about 100 pages in just one sitting. It was that good.
The story is about a little boy who almost dies after his appendix ruptures. He undergoes a few extensive surgeries and months later when he is feeling well again he begins to tell his father about the trip he made to heaven while he underwent surgery.
The story is told by his father, who is a small town pastor, that recounts all the vivid details about how his son saw heaven. Colton, the little boy, retells how he met Jesus in heaven and how he was wearing a white robe with a purple sash. He also tells his father how God is seated in his throne in heaven with Jesus on the right and the angel Gabriel on the left. Colton also goes on to say how he met his sister and his grandfather in heaven. There is more to the story and I won't further spoil it for you.
There is one section that stood out to me the most and that is when 80 people from the family's church begin to pray for the family. The congregation really came together to support the family at the hospital and to be there financially for them by donating money to help cover hospital expenses. Colton's father states, "Sometimes I wonder, what do people do when they have no extended family and no church? In times of crisis, where does their support come from?" This statement was profound to me because I often wonder the same thing in my life.
As a Christian, I firmly believe that every church should have that same fellowship that will come together during times of crisis. I have seen this happen in my life twice. There are two churches that come to mind who really reached out to me during my ex-husband's struggle with alcohol that landed him in a hospital for two months and during my divorce. Although I am no longer a part of these two churches, it is amazing to see people come together to help someone during crisis.
Today I attend a church that is so large it is easy to feel lost and lonely. I find that these days it can be difficult to meet others at my church so I am making an effort to be more involved.
If you are a Christian and even if you're not, this book will encourage you to take that next step in your faith. There are a few Bible scriptures in the book and they make sense in what Colton describes as heaven. I feel better today knowing that God loves his little children so much that he would place heaven in their heart at such a young age.
I hope you read this book and get a chance to watch the film as well. Happy Easter and God bless.