Summary of Chapters 11-13

by The Quicklet Team

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on Heaven Is For Real.

Chapter 11: Colton Burpo - Collection agent

“Dad, Jesus used Dr. O’Holleran to help fix me…You need to pay him.”

Back at home, Todd and Sonja calculate that the household and medical bills add up to around $23,000, an amount they have no idea how to pay. In the small town they live in, the couple is used to buying on credit from local businesses and paying on the tenth of each month. Now they will need to ask for more time. However, they agree not to skip their tithe, reasoning that since God gave them their son back, they should give back to him.

Colton overhears them and reminds them to pay Dr. O’Holleran, because Jesus used him to fix Colton. The parents are surprised that Colton is so thankful, especially considering how frightened he was of Dr. O’Holleran. Soon, donations of a few hundred dollars each start coming in from the church. These, with help from Todd’s grandmother, enable the Burpos to pay their medical bills.

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Chapter 11: Colton Burpo - Collection agent

“Dad, Jesus used Dr. O’Holleran to help fix me…You need to pay him.”

Back at home, Todd and Sonja calculate that the household and medical bills add up to around $23,000, an amount they have no idea how to pay. In the small town they live in, the couple is used to buying on credit from local businesses and paying on the tenth of each month. Now they will need to ask for more time. However, they agree not to skip their tithe, reasoning that since God gave them their son back, they should give back to him.

Colton overhears them and reminds them to pay Dr. O’Holleran, because Jesus used him to fix Colton. The parents are surprised that Colton is so thankful, especially considering how frightened he was of Dr. O’Holleran. Soon, donations of a few hundred dollars each start coming in from the church. These, with help from Todd’s grandmother, enable the Burpos to pay their medical bills.

A few days later, Colton gets in trouble for fighting over toys. When his father lectures him, Colton admits that Jesus told him to be good. Todd is surprised, but he puts the insight down to good Sunday school teaching.

A few weeks later, Colton has another unusual incident where he becomes upset over a funeral, demanding to know if the dead man “had Jesus in his heart” and saying “he can’t get into heaven” otherwise. In the end, Colton has to walk home with Cassie because he can’t bear to stay at the funeral. Todd is unable to say where this sudden worry is coming from.

Chapter 12: Eyewitnesses to Heaven

“You were in heaven?” I managed to ask.

“Well, yeah, Dad.”

Four months after Colton’s surgery, during the trip on Fourth of July, Colton’s parents realize he has had a supernatural encounter. Not even Sonja had seen Todd have his private “meltdown with God” but Colton “saw” his father “praying in a little room.”

After the trip, Sonja goes to Pikes Peak for a worship festival, leaving Todd at home with the kids. While working in the basement, Todd casually asks Colton more about what he saw in heaven. Colton describes meeting John the Baptist and Jesus, explaining concepts he has never heard of - concepts that stay surprisingly close to Biblical accounts of heaven.

For instance, Colton says that Jesus wore white with a purple sash and a crown. Todd immediately thinks of Mark 9:2, which shows Jesus clothed in “dazzling white.” Colton also describes rainbow colors similar to those mentioned in Revelation.

Todd realizes that this detailed account is very unusual for a four-year-old, most of whom have trouble retaining three or four words of Sunday school lessons. No Bible stories Colton has heard have anything similar to what he is describing.

Todd especially notes that Colton describes Jesus in human terms (what he looked like and said), and that Colton mentions first that Jesus has markers, which on further questioning turn out to be the wounds in Jesus’ hands and feet—something else Colton shouldn’t know because the parents have not yet discussed the crucifixion in detail with the children.

Chapter 13: Lights and Wings

"What is childlike humility? It’s not the lack of intelligence, but the lack of guile. The lack of an agenda. It’s that precious, fleeting time before we have accumulated enough pride or position to care what other people might think."

When Sonja returns, she and Todd decide not to fill in the blanks for Colton (such as suggesting words he doesn’t know) but to instead ask open-ended questions. So one day as Colton is playing superheroes, Todd asks him what he did in heaven. Colton replies, “Homework.”

Colton mentions seeing other children in heaven. Todd says Colton originally gave their names, but that neither he nor his parents remember the names now. Everyone had wings (of varying sizes; Colton’s were small) except Jesus, who went up and down “like an elevator.” Todd relates this to the ascension in the book of Acts, where Jesus was taken up into heaven.

Colton says both people and angels had lights over their heads, “halo” being another concept he doesn’t know. Todd remembers how a small girl he knew, Hannah, once claimed to see lights over the heads of people in church, some but not others. He wonders if the same kind of childlike faith could be in both children. Todd defines childlike faith as “intellectual honesty: to be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it is hard.”

According to Colton, the people in heaven wore white robes with yellow sashes, differing in appearance from the angels. Todd notices the description matches Revelation 10:1.

Feeling his “New Information Meter” has been filled to the max, Todd asks one final question. How long was Colton in heaven, if Jesus gave him “homework.” Colton nonchalantly replies, “Three minutes.”
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