A Few Thoughts After Seeing Heaven is For Real

Kid standing in nature with large copy spaceDeposit Photos

My son and I went to see Heaven is for Real yesterday.  I never read the book so I don’t know how much the movie followed the actual book which was based on the account of a little 4- year-old boy who claims to have visited heaven while almost dying on the operating table.  I had mixed feelings walking out of the theater.

The things I liked about the movie:

They talked about Jesus a lot.
I loved the message that once you meet Jesus you have no reason to continue living your life in fear.
God is love
I love that one of the things the father of the little boy learned through this whole journey was that it was important for him to remind people that they are not alone.

The things I didn’t like about the movie:

It danced around the salvation question. It didn’t give a scriptural or accurate answer to the question “Am I going to heaven?”
They didn’t talk about having a relationship with Jesus.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, even though the message was way too vague about the importance of this truth: getting to know Jesus and being in relationship with Him is the solution to our questions.  Still, I hope people leave the theater with a desire to seek Jesus and not religion,

I couldn’t help but think of my mom during the movie. Especially at the end when the dad was reminding his congregation that one of his jobs on earth was to let people know they are not alone.

Sean and I talked about the movie and my mom on the drive home. I told my son how that scene reminded me of the day my mom died. I’ve shared this story a few times, but I’ll share it again for any new readers.

I was sitting by my  mom’s side as she faded in and out of consciousness. My dad was outside waiting for the ambulance to arrive. At one point my mom’s eyes rolled back in her head. I was so scared. I gently nudged at her arm and called to her several times to wake up. When she came to, there was a look on her face that I will never forget. She was smiling and her eyes were sparkling with joy. She looked at me and said, “You don’t have to worry about me. I’m going to be fine.” Then, she went on to recite Psalm 23.

I told my son yesterday that I truly believe that whatever she had seen in those moments completely reassured her that the faith she had in Jesus and the relationship she had with Him was real. There was truly no reason for her to fear.

My mom met Jesus face to face later that same day. Early the next morning, I felt compelled to grab her Bible. This was the note I found tucked in the sleeve. The note also had 5 songs written on the back…songs we assumed she wanted us to sing at her memorial service.

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Today, if you struggle with questions and doubts I want to reassure you that I think that’s okay. Everybody has questions and doubts. Yet, I think the key is to keep seeking Jesus through all of them. Where religion tends to confuse us, a relationship with the One who loves us sheds light and understanding even in the darkest and most confusing of times.

Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

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