Earl and I went to see Heaven Is Real tonight.
I had been anticipating and was excited about seeing this since I heard the book was being made into a movie. I was excited because at one time Crossroads Wesleyan Church was my home church, Todd Burpo was my pastor and Imperial NE was the town I grew up and lived in until 2006. At one time my son Lucas even worked for Todd’s Overhead Door Company. I was excited to go to the movie to because I would know the people the actors were portraying, I would be familiar with the town the Burpo’s lived in, it was my hometown.
It was with much anticipation that Earl and I walked into the packed theatre. From the opening scene I knew that the movie I was expecting was not the movie I was watching. Imperial on the screen looked nothing like the Imperial I used to live in and the Imperial my family still lives in, A lot of the businesses in the movie don’t even exist in Imperial and none of the names were recognizable to me. It was disappointing. However, something bigger was happening, God knew that if I was busy telling Earl, hey I know so and so, or, look there is the business I was just in last visit, that my attention was not where it needed to be.
I cannot speak for anyone else and I certainly am not a movie critic but this movie spoke volumes to me.
I don’t know much about near death experiences but I can tell you this, I do know about questioning your faith. Todd Burpo was about the last person on this earth that I would have guessed would have a time when He had doubts and was wrestling with questions or worse yet, having the church you pastor lose faith in you. Strangely enough this spoke volumes to me.
This movie wasn’t about the people I knew, or the familiar sights of Imperial. Heaven Is Real was about the exploration of your faith, the fact that if God is working in your life, not everyone is going to understand what God is doing and some people may be downright nasty about it . You may lose friends, lose your job and lose your dignity.
If God is working in your life, not everyone is going to understand what God is doing, not everyone is going to support you and some are even going to think you are downright nuts. This movie reminded me that even the strongest and most faithful have times when the art of following God is hard and we feel lost and simply can’t figure out how to put one foot in front of the other to go on. Oh how heartening was for me to watch how this unfolded, anticipating the movie for one reason, loving it for quite another. The movie confirmed yet another aspect of God revealing to me exactly what He needed me to see.
Heaven is Real wasn’t just about a little boy who went to Heaven and came back to tell about it, it was about clarifying and showing us our needs, it was about tolerance ,discernment and reliance upon our Father.
God uses different ways to direct us, whatever God was trying to show the Burpos, He used their son, God was directing me through the movie. Sometimes it takes a painful or confusing situation to make us change or to make us see what God wants us to see. Faith is tested , problems corrected and people perfected through trials.
Thank you God for taking away what I had been anticipating and was excited to experience and giving me that which had the ability to show tests, corrections and the way to perfection. You may have different ideas about the movie and thats’ok to, but the great thing about God is He individualizes resources and in just the ways that is going to touch us and turn light bulbs on, He shows us what we need to see, when we need to see it and how we need to see it.
……………………and so I ride