It was 2 years ago on July 17th that my sister Mary's passed into eternal life. Wondering what she's up to now, I read Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo.
I had already been told about most of the tales of 4 year old Colton Burpo's experience in heaven, but a few details I found to be of note.
1. The wounds of Christ.
Colton, a Protestant kid, raised by his Protestant pastor father, mother, and faith community mentions "Jesus' markers" first when asked to describe what Jesus looks like. Colton had likely never seen a crucifix. It is only after further discussion that his father realizes that by "markers" Colton is referring to the five wounds of Christ.
2. People wear white robes? And different colored sashes?
Um. Boring. Lame-o. Upon further reflection, I wonder if Colton experienced a PG version of heaven. I mean, Adam and Eve didn't wear clothes in the first paradise, so I'm kind of wondering why we'll be wearing clothes in the second one, what with our glorified bodies and all.
However, if we are going to be clothed in the afterlife, it's going to be way better clothing than white albs and dolmadic sashes like deacons. C'mon. I have often thought that with my sister Mary's embroidery skills, she might be spending some heavenly free time working on some gorgeous robes for The Mary.
As I said on Facebook today, Colton says he saw lots of animals in heaven: dogs, horses, birds, and even a lion. Nowhere in the book does Colton say he saw any cats. Make of that what you will.
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is light and easy reading. I'd let any kid read it. Todd does mention his wife's miscarriage, and how Colton met his sister in heaven, as well as heavenly battle to be fought with swords against Satan and his angels.
I told Edmund that (according to Colton) there are swords in heaven and that Jesus has a sword. He immediately wanted to know how many and what kind. That kid. sigh.
One more thing. I read the first Gabriel Allon book, The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva, and it wasn't nearly as clean, or as good a read as Fallen Angel. The Kill Artist has lots of sex. Allon is still a virtuous man (though he hasn't always been) but the bad guys in this book like to use and sometimes abuse women. Consider yourself warned.