On Good Friday night my wife Debbie and I went to see the movie “Heaven Is For Real”.
Based on the true story of a 4-year-old Nebraska boy who after major surgery tells his father — a local minister — that he’s been to heaven. Having read and enjoyed the book when it came out some years ago, we were eager to see how Hollywood depicted this story of faith. It is the real deal. Director Randall Wallace shows — as he did on “Secretariat” and “We Were Soldiers” — that the strength of a movie comes from a focus on family.
“Heaven is for Real” remains faithful to the real life struggles this family of faith endures. Too often in movies, ministers are either portrayed as being sanctimonious, all-knowing, sticks in the mud, weak kneed woosys without a backbone or con artists with a weakness for wine and women.
Greg Kinnear’s portrayal of Pastor Todd Burpo — the father of the young boy and the leader of the local church — is so human. He is a man of character who spends as much time worrying about the mortgage as he does preaching the Gospel. Kelly Reilly also gives a strong performance as Sonja, the families wife and mother who is seeking to understand this supernatural occurrence .
We get a peek into a family that loves God and loves each other, and aren’t afraid to express that love for each other as well as their deep spiritual beliefs. Their financial struggles are very reflective of what’s going on across the country today and that makes the movie accessible even to those who don’t care as much about the spiritual aspects. You will just fall in love with six -year-old Connor Corum who plays Colton Burpo, the kid who gets a glimpse of heaven.
Go see “Heaven Is Real, you will be inspired and hopeful for heaven. If you live around Hays be sure to come to services this Sunday as we launch a new message series on the reality of heaven.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,