HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A movie review by Echo Bodine, author of WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE
as republished from New World Library
Last night I saw the new movie Heaven Is for Real, and I was very touched by it. It’s the story of a four-year-old boy named Colton Burpo who went to heaven when his body was being operated on and came back to share his experiences with his family. This may sound sweet and innocent, like a child with a great imagination, but this young boy actually had this experience, and it turned quite a few lives upside down.
His father just happens to be the pastor of a local church, and watching his struggles with Colton’s accounts of heaven reminded me of the consciousness of our planet. The reaction of the parishioners compounded the confusion and anger about this little boy’s experience. It was eye-opening for me because I’ve become so ingrained in the belief that there is life after death and that heaven is the most beautiful safe place that we will ever experience. That was one of Colton’s comments: “No one will hurt me here.”
He saw angels and Jesus. He sat on Jesus’s lap. The angels giggled when he asked if they would sing a different song. He met others in heaven, but I won’t share who they were because that was part of the fun of the movie.
In yesterday’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune, I read a review of Heaven Is for Real with the headline, “The film based on a true story is strongest when it focuses on real life.” The accounts of heaven are real life, and it annoys me that people who have no consciousness about this write the headlines.
If you’ve read What Happens When We Die, or any of my other books, you know that I had an out-of-body experience many years ago where I was allowed to go to heaven and see for myself whether it was real or not. I’ve written about it extensively because it’s important information to share. Everything that was said in the movie is exactly as I saw it. The bestselling book that was written about Colton’s experience had a theological tone to it, and I was disappointed in that, simply because heaven is so much bigger than our theological ideas of what it’s like there.
I woke up today wondering if this movie will help to shift the consciousness about heaven and God. It will undoubtedly spark many debates, and I’m sure many people will chalk the whole thing up to a child’s imagination, which will be very unfortunate. People have a chance to open their minds and their hearts to the truths that are out there, and many people will choose to cling to their old, fearful beliefs and die afraid.
My hat is off to director Randall Wallace for sticking to the story and not adding a bunch of fake, computer-generated images to make the movie “more spectacular.” He did the book justice and, I think, created a very beautiful movie.
I would also say the timing is perfect. Holy week. Passover. Easter. I hope you get a chance to see the movie. There is so much sweet innocence and truth in it, and we can all use a good dose of that.
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