heaven is for real | todd burpo.

the truth is that i really didn't want to read this book. i've heard about people who have died, or nearly died, and end up making a full recovery with a supernatural experience to share, and i think that's fascinating. partly because nobody really knows what happens when we die, but i guess some people really do. also partly because, well, it's heaven. and i'm jealous.

but i didn't want to read it (or any book like it) for the same reason i wish they wouldn't turn books into movies. movies never show it the way you imagined the book to be in your head. not that i have this really solid image or idea in my head of the way i think it will be. but, you know what i mean? heaven is still untouchable to me. i felt like reading about someone else's experience would be like watching the movie before reading the book.

then i saw this book listed on my ipad for something like four dollars, and i bought it rather impulsively because i felt like that was a good deal i couldn't miss out on. almost instantly i felt like i wasted four dollars, but a couple weeks ago i saw a preview for the movie. and i know i compared the book to "the movie version" of heaven, but there is nothing that makes me want to read a book more than knowing there is an actual movie version being released.

if you haven't heard about this book, it's about a boy named colton who was close to death, went in for an emergency surgery, and came out with an incredible story about his visit to heaven.

even as i read it, i was still unsure whether or not i wanted to be reading it. but it turns out, what got me wasn't the descriptions he gave about what things (and people) looked like. what got me was the way he described them. the way he described jesus first by the "markers" on his hands and feet, and then the way his eyes and hair and clothes looked. the way he answered about what god's throne looks like but moved onto what god's love felt like instead.

it felt less like a description of what i'll see what i die, and more like truth, stated over and over again. it made me wonder, if i went to heaven and came back the way colton did, how would i talk about it? and, without ever having that experience, how do i talk about it?

are the marks of sacrifice the way i describe jesus? do i describe god by the way it feels to be loved by him in such an incredible way?