Do you ever think about Heaven? Do you believe Heaven exists? Do you believe there are angels in Heaven? When we die will we see our ancestors? I have my own theories on all that, and more, but this is a review of the movie “Heaven Is For Real”. I will do my best not to follow the script–after all, I’d like it if you watched the movie yourself. I will tell you this movie is based on a true story, real people lived it and it became a book that was turned into a movie. Ready? Here goes.
“Heaven Is For Real” is 99 minutes in length and rated PG. It’s the story of a 4-year old little boy whose father is a small-town Preacher Man in Nebraska. Just about everyone in that town attends that Church every Sunday (you know small town folks–doesn’t matter the denomination, if you miss Church on Sunday it better be because you were being held hostage somewhere). Anyway, Pastor Todd dotes on his son Colton. When the request comes in to go on a road trip, even though there’s no money for it, the family goes on a one day road trip. To pass the time and make the trip seem shorter than it is they sing choir songs….that is until Colton asks if they can sing ‘We Will Rock You’, which they do. Actually, the actor playing Colton screams it.
Sometime after they get back home both Colton and his big sister start throwing up. After a few days big sister is all better and Mom figures it was just a stomach bug or something, but after four days Colton is burning up and the decision is made to get him to the hospital…..STAT! The doctors examine him, ask Mom how long he’s been sick, how long he’s had such a high fever and diagnose a burst appendix. Colton is then taken to the O.R. for emergency surgery. No one is certain Colton will survive. Dad heads to the hospital chapel where he angrily shouts at God, and Mom gets on her cell phone calling everyone she can asking them to pray for Colton and to ask their friends to pray for Colton.
A while after that when Mom and Dad are back together in the hospital waiting room, the doctor tells them that Colton made it through surgery and is now resting in his room. The grateful parents make their way to their son’s room when Colton opens his eyes and says, “Angels were singing to me.” Later Colton told his parents that while he was in surgery he saw his father in the chapel yelling at God and he saw his mother in the waiting room calling people and asking them to pray for him. There was no earthly way Colton could have known that.
As Colton reveals more of his visit to Heaven in a nonchalant, matter-of-fact way, his father has a crisis of faith. How can a man whose livelihood is preaching the bible doubt what his son says he saw? How can a 4-year old who didn’t die during surgery have an out-of-body experience? How much of his visit is fact and how much is imagination? Is Colton lying? Was the anesthesia a factor? Should what Colton says be taken as Gospel or taken with a grain of salt?
Not to get too preachy or too skeptical about all this out-of-body stuff, but there are many adults who ‘temporarily’ die on the operating table and say they saw a ‘tunnel of bright light’ or they saw a deceased loved one or felt a calmness they never felt before. Does their age make their claims more believable?
I can understand the difficulty in believing Colton saw what he says he saw, I mean little kids are brought up to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God, Heaven, Jesus and the Devil all while they are young, then they grow up and learn the truth; there is no Santa Claus, there is no Easter Bunny, there is no Tooth Fairy, yet they are to believe there is a God, there is a Heaven, there is a Jesus and there is a Devil. Maybe that’s why it was so difficult for Pastor Todd to believe his son had visited Heaven. His faith wasn’t lacking, it just wasn’t child-like.
Personally, I believe Colton did spend some time in Heaven. He met two members of his family he never knew because they had died years before he was born and had never even seen pictures of them. If that part is real, why not the rest of what he says he saw? I’ve never had a near-death experience even though a few years back I was sick enough to be put into a coma BUT, I have been in the room with other people when a family member lay dying and can swear that my Grandmother had a moment of clarity when she looked over the footboard of her hospital bed, reached out with her right arm and said that the Virgin Mary had come for her. The other case was my father. As he lay dying in the ICU I held his hand so he would know he wasn’t alone and I swear I saw an angel with a hand on my Dad’s shoulder. The angel was standing in the middle of a bright light that did not hurt my eyes, or maybe the angel was the bright light, but I know I saw what I saw even if no one else that was around saw it. Could have been my Dad’s Guardian Angel getting ready to take him to Heaven. Who knows.
Colton wasn’t the only child to visit Heaven at the age of 4. Akiane Kramarik of Mount Morris, Illinois was also 4 when she had the same experience as Colton only her parents are both Atheists. After her experience she took up a pencil and a sheet of paper and started drawing the portrait of a man she identified as Jesus. After showing Colton every picture he had of Jesus and Colton saying that wasn’t what Jesus looks like, Colton saw the image of her painting on his father’s laptop, pointed at it and said, “That’s him.”
I do hope you’ll give this movie a viewing. It’s only a little more than an hour and a half and you can decide for yourself. Did Colton really visit Heaven? Is Akiane’s portrait the real thing? I say yes to both.
Thanks for reading Musings From The Bench Movie Review And More. Until next time.
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