Book Review #2: Heaven Is For Real
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero
If you read my last post, BOOK REVIEW: CRASH THE CHATTERBOX, you know that I set a goal to complete 50 books for the year. I am now on my third. If you didn’t read that post, read it and tell me what you think after you have read Pastor Steve Furtick’s book and my blog post review…I’d love to hear what you think.
Well here we are, book number two completed with a mere 95 days until the New Year. Am I happy that my goal isn’t looking like it will be completed in time? No. Am I glad that I know the reasons behind my lack of success in this area? Of course! Sometimes mastering the areas in which you lack leads you closer to attaining your goals in the future – so here we are, me writing and you reading my book review of Heaven is For Real.
“How do you scare some sense into a child who doesn’t fear death?”
My mom continuously encouraged me to watch the movie version of the novel and I kept putting it off. While exploring our new town Manny and I discovered a place called Half Price Books, walking around we noticed many books on sale – Heaven is For Real instantly caught my eye. Sticker price, $3.00. I couldn’t leave without it. We got home and I instantly began reading it. The book was fantastic.
One thing I enjoyed most about this read is that it does not by any means push specific thoughts or ideas about God or faith onto the reader, it does the exact opposite. The story is unraveled by a father who tells his little boy’s account of going through extreme illness which leads to surgery, allowing the little boy to visit heaven and essentially hangout with Jesus. I love the fact that the father continuously tells the story without providing any sort of “call to action.” Why? Well, sometimes when you read faith-based books or any book for that matter, there is a next step…with Heaven is For Real the only action that needs to happen next is reflection. In addition to the father’s ability to tell the story from an open mind, he truly breaks down the concept that heaven is in fact for real and his little boy’s experience truly solidifies all he and his family (as Christians) have talked about and believed in, but very different from what they thought. For me, as a Christian, it was nice to see him allow an open heart and mind to the stories his son told about his experiences in heaven. Todd Burpo (the father) literally acted child-like many times throughout the story, literally asking his son, “then what happened, what did Jesus do/say next.”
“What is childlike humility? It’s not the lack of intelligence, but the lack of guile. The lack of an agenda. It’s that precious, fleeting time before we have accumulated enough pride or position to care what other people might think. The same un-self-conscious honesty that enables a three-year-old to splash joyfully in a rain puddle, or tumble laughing in the grass with a puppy, or point out loudly that you have a booger hanging out of your nose, is what is required to enter heaven. It is the opposite of ignorance—it is intellectual honesty: to be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it is hard.”
You may be thinking, can we rely on this father’s story of the experiences his son had? The answer is of course. I can only have this as an answer to this hypothetical question because I read the novel and the book didn’t influence my beliefs in any way, it simply told the story and allowed your mind to decide for itself. Mr. Burpo many times explained throughout the book that his son’s experiences and daily accounts of his heavenly experience reminded him that sometimes we get too wrapped up – wrapped up in earthly things, wrapped up in religion and ultimately, Jesus simply wants us to be childlike in our faith and in our belief. For me, this continued to ring the word into my ear…relationship. Having faith in God is all about the relationship, not about religion. After my reading, I realized that I seek to become more childlike in my walk with God. I encourage you all to indulge in this quick read – whether you consider yourself a believer, follower or sinner (which we all fall short), the book will add fresh perspective and provided me hope and healing about seeing my Grandma again. If you are looking for healing, faith, looking for a good story or simply a quick read to complete your New Year’s resolutions, this is the book for you. Now you decide, is heaven for REAL?
Oxxo (Because Heaven Is Definitely For Real For Me), LUV,