I haven’t read many non-fictions in one sitting, but I finished this in just one evening. I know it sounds cliché, but I could not put it down.
As Don Piper was returning from a conference, he was run over by a semi and died. No pulse and no chance of survival. They left his crushed body inside of his crushed car and covered it all with a tarp. Stuck in the traffic, a man from the conference walked up to the accident scene, informed police he was a minister, and asked if he could pray for anyone. The officer he spoke with told him that there were two people who had scratches and there was a dead man in car.
"God spoke to me and said, 'You need to pray for that man in the red car.'" Dick was an outstanding Baptist preacher. Praying for a dead man certainly ran counter to his theology. I can't do that, he thought. How can I go over there and pray? The man is dead. "I felt compelled to pray. I didn't know who the man was or whether or not he was a believer. I knew only that God told me I had to pray for him."
It was at this point that I knew I wouldn’t stop reading that night. .
Don Piper’s story of death, seeing heaven, and returning to this Earth tells an amazing story of hope in the hopeless. He opens up his life, his emotions, and his experience for us all to investigate. His honesty about depression and not wanting to be here brought tears to my eyes more than once. The pleading with God to take him back resonated within my soul. There was a bond between Don Piper and I that seems crazy to even mention. He wasn’t telling me what I should do or what I should believe. He told me his story and let me experience it with him. That is something that most people don’t allow. They want to tell you the rules, lay out the law, so to speak. Clearly the pairing together of Don Piper, a man with a story God wanted people to know, and author Cecil Murphey, a man God trusts with story, was a God-ordained assignment.
I walked away after reading this book changed. It really is hard to explain the changes. I believe in Heaven the same as I did before, and I understand as much as humanly possible that Heaven can’t be described in words. I think the changes inside of me deal with the purpose of our existence and that the small details we don’t even consider worthy of thought or prayer mean everything to the God who loves us. Most importantly though, it gives strength and credence to those who follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting even if it defies every doctrine to which we’ve devoted ourselves.