A couple of years ago my two-year old grandson was sick with vomiting, fever and just feeling pretty bad. At some point, he began to look bad. His eyes were sunken in and his color was a bit off. It happens when you have stuff coming out both ends. Anyway, my daughter and I were keeping a close eye on him, believing that it was nothing more than a stomach virus. Well, it was late one evening, after about three days of illness that my daughter was in her room, sitting on her bed and just holding him. It was an ominous sight that to this day I cannot forget. My daughter, already tired herself, was holding my grandson. His little body laid almost draped over her, almost lifeless. She was worried and had called me in to check him out, not sure what to do for him. I cannot tell you the fear that came over me upon seeing his lifeless little body. I told my daughter that we had to get him to the emergency room, asap. We did not call EMS. We just got in the car and sped to the Children’s ER which was about twenty minutes away. When we got to the ER, of course they took him right back in. ER doctors immediately started running tests and such. As it turned out he had acute appendicitis and by God’s grace, we got him medical help in time. The doctors performed an emergency appendectomy and he was going to be alright. The doctors told my daughter that if we had waited any longer his appendix would have ruptured and things would have been worse. Praise God. God is so good.
So, I just finished watching the movie Heaven is for real. This movie is about a little boy that goes to heaven during emergency surgery. It’s a touching story based on real life. The reason I shared this story about my grandson is because the little boy in the movie had his appendix rupture and he nearly died. So the experience hit close to home. I don’t want to spoil the movie for those that have not seen it yet, but as I watched as the father struggled with his own faith, the mom not sure how to help, and the Christian community coming together to pray and support that also had a difficult time accepting and believing this little boy’s experience…I found myself… not questioning the validity of the boy’s experience, but just having a heck of time deciding whether to believe or not believe that God would reveal Himself through this little boy. There have always been individuals that have reported near-death experiences, some pleasant, others not so pleasant and most of us have some doubt about the validity of such experiences.
So, the little boy shares with his father his varied experiences while visiting heaven. His mother just seems to pass it off as a dream based on past experiences, and exposure to the things of God. Totally, nonspiritual, she was being a mom. Well, the movie goes on and later on, the boy shares something with mom that she knows he could not possibly know and she too begins to believe in his outrageous tale. After a while, typical… the critics come out, the supports start questioning the father’s behavior and such. In the end, everyone must make their own choice.
As I watched, I thought…how many Christian genuinely believe that Heaven is a real place and that Jesus is real and that we are not alone in this universe? How many believers can accept Jesus as a brother, father? How many Christian women would accept Jesus as their husband? Not just in a spiritual sense but like the Catholic nuns that wear a wedding band to signify their marriage to Him (I guess they still do that???).
Today, as I was skimming Yahoo news, I read that Ann B. Davis (of the Brady Bunch) died yesterday, right here in my hometown. It was reported that she had lived here, 18 years in a “Christian community”. I was like…what? She lived in San Antonio? What Christian community? I don’t know of any such here…that’s just the way it was reported.
Davis’s death and my grandson’s experience raised some questions for me. I have read of other near death experiences, but never watched any in film. This particular film struck a chord with me because of my grandson. Also, because of the mom’s nonchalant attitude at the start of it all…but more because God had a message of love and comfort to a world stricken with grieve and doubt, cynicism and just pure hate for the things of God. The little boy had a message for his mom, but also to rest of the us (I won’t spoil the movie). Reading about this “Christian community” that I knew nothing about also raised concerns about what “we” as Christians are doing to reach the lost with the love of God. Are we just sitting pretty somewhere, content in our own righteous living, unnoticed?
Well, I thought…the world wants us to believe that God, that Heaven and hell for that matter exists only in our finite minds. If we, as humans have retained anything it’s that human knowledge, unfettered, can be a dangerous thing. Not because knowledge is always a dangerous thing, but because the human chooses to believe in “survival of the fittest” as an end goal rather than on the Creator of the man and His destiny for each one of us. You can fill in the blanks. History is filled with plenty of examples.
I just wonder, …as believers, can we distinguish the voice of truth from all the voices in our head? False teachings, false teachers, and false prophets grace our churches at every corner and people blindly enter, and our “Christian communities” sit by unnoticed. The biggest problem we face is that every church pastor, preacher, teacher, etc. believes they are preaching truth.
In this last hour…God has a message for us. How many of us are listening? Heaven is real. And if heaven is real…