My last post about Mary was heavy with history and theology. This week I would like to offer a different perspective from an eye-witness of sorts. Colton Burpo is a young Protestant brother from Nebraska, about the same age as my son Justus. When Colton was two months shy of his fourth birthday, he suffered a life threatening rupture of his appendix. Apparently, during his stay in the hospital, Colton visited heaven. For several months after his return home, Colton would say odd things about the people he met in heaven - dead family members he had never known, biblical characters unfamiliar to a 3-year-old ("Did you know Jesus has a cousin?" he asked his dad. "He's really nice.")
The story of Colton's illness and ensuing revelation is recorded in the book Heaven is for Real. I can't recommend the movie, but our family loved the book. One passage which particularly moved me came from the epilogue. Colton's father writes, (I'm quoting from memory here)
Our Catholic friends often ask if Colton saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, in heaven. The answer is yes. He saw her kneeling before the throne of the Father and in other places. "She still loves him (Jesus) like a mom," Colton says.
Out of the mouths of babes, doctrine in its purest, simplest form.