Living less than 10 minutes away from two! of the largest shopping malls in St. Louis, being able to drive down the street to get last-minute (proven rather essential :-) baking ingredients, and living close to several friends who also graduated from the University of Illinois are some of the best parts of living in a big city.
But one of the few things I don’t like about living in a big city is the prevalence of Planned Parenthood ads. On Interstate billboards. In St. Louis tourism magazines. On local country and hop radio stations. With attending March for Life in Washington D.C. for three years, I should have anticipated this. But coming from a small town of 700, I didn’t see it coming.
Although the Planned Parenthood ads don’t outwardly promote abortion, there is no denying that the organization still aborts 220,000 babies in America each year (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-planned-parenthood-actually-does/2011/04/06/AFhBPa2C_blog.html). So whenever I see or hear one of their advertisements, I feel awful for all the unborn children, as well as for the moms and dads who don’t ever get to experience the rewarding joy of giving birth to, playing with, and helping their son or daughter grow from a tiny baby into a young adult. Therefore, I wanted to honor the gift of life – not just at birth, but at the moment of conception – by sharing one of the most powerful, crazy yet amazing, witnesses I have ever heard.
The excerpt comes from Heaven is for Real, a #1 New York Times bestseller that has sold 2 million+ copies in print. This true story is about a 4-year-old boy who almost died from an appendix attack… momentarily. Although Colton only spent several minutes in heaven, he was later able to authentically describe what his family – his mom, dad, and sister – were doing in completely different parts of the hospital at the time of his near-death experience. And that was when Colton discovered he didn’t have just one older sister, but two…
Excerpt from Heaven is for Real, pages 94 – 96
“Mommy, I have two sisters,” Colton said.
Sonja looked up from her paperwork and shook her head slightly. “No, you have your sister, Cassie, and… do you mean your cousin, Traci?”
“No.” Colton clipped off the word adamantly. “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”
At that moment, time stopped in our household, and Sonja’s eyes grew wide. “Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” Sonja said, her tone serious.
“She did, Mommy. She said she died in your tummy.
Sonja slide off the couch and knelt in front of Colton so she could look him in the eyes. “Don’t you mean Jesus adopted her?” she asked.
“No, Mommy. His dad did!”
Sonja turned and looked at me. In that moment, she later told me, she was trying to stay calm, but she was overwhelmed. Our baby… was – is! – a girl, she thought.
Sonja focused on Colton, and I could hear the effort it took to steady her voice. “So did she look like Cassie?" Sonja asked.
“She is just a little bit smaller, and she has dark hair.”
Sonja’s dark hair.
As I watched, a blend of pain and joy played across my wife’s face. Cassie and Colton have my blond hair. She had even jokingly complained to me before, “I carry these kids around for nine months, and they both come out looking like you!” Now there was a child who looked like her. A daughter.
Now Colton went on without prompting. “In heaven, this little girl ran up to me, and she wouldn’t stop hugging me,” he said in a tone that clearly indicated he didn’t enjoy all this hugging from a girl.
“Maybe she was just happy that someone from her family was there,” Sonja offered. “Girls hug. When we’re happy, we hug.”
Colton didn’t seem convinced.
Sonja’s eyes lit up and she asked,“What was her name? What was the little girl’s name?
“She doesn’t have a name,” Colton said. “You guys didn’t name her.”
How did he know that?
“You’re right, Colton,” Sonja said. “We didn’t even know she was a she.”
Then Colton said something that still rings in my ears.
“Yeah, she said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven.”