As the saying goes, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” What would you do if you got that chance? Don Piper died and lived to not only talk about it but help others through his life-changing experience in 90 Minutes in Heaven – A True Story of Death and Life by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey.
One night on his way home from a conference a semi-truck crossed the median and struck his car head-on. At 38 years-old, his life was over, he was pronounced dead at the scene, and woke up in “heaven.” As a Baptist minister he had always preached to his congregation about heaven and now found himself in that very place. He describes heaven as many others have done before, as a place filled with “unimaginable joy, excitement, warmth and total happiness.”
He may have thought he was dead, but God had other plans for his life…90 minutes later a prayer was answered, but it wasn’t his. He didn’t want to leave heaven, he wanted to stay. Miraculously, he was alive. Alive for a reason he was yet to learn, but he was sure of one thing prayer changes things! Coming back from death for him was not and still is not an easy journey.
Don Piper described his road to recovery at length. The 13 months of being hospitalized, the 34 surgeries, countless setbacks, physical therapy, depression, and self-pity. And yes, he also asked God “why?” Why would/should this happen to such an independent, religious man who was used to having people lean on him? Through his soul-searching one of the “lessons” was to learn to lean on and accept help from other people…people like his wife, his three children, his mother, his church family and his friends. He also “learned that God brings people into my life who need me or need to hear my message, giving me the opportunity to touch their lives.”
Being strong is not just about who you hold up, but who is there to hold you up. The answer he received in the stillness of the moment was “As long as I’m here on earth, God still has a purpose for me. Knowing that fact enables me to endure the pain and cope with my physical disabilities… I was utterly helpless. I couldn’t do anything for myself, not even lift my hand.” Today Don Piper is able to do more than just lift his hand, he is now able to walk.
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- “Some things happen to us from which we never recover, and they disrupt the normalcy of our lives. That’s how life is.”
- “I have learned a few things and realize that God still has reasons, and God has no obligation to explain them to me.”
- “Even though I don’t have full answers to many of my questions, I do have peace. I know I am where God wants me to be… I know I’m doing the work God has given me.”
90 MINUTES in HEAVEN is a book is about life… about faith, courage, strength, love, letting go, gratefulness, gratitude and many other components that make us who we are. It is easy to find yourself submerged in the story behind the story…you say you believe, you want to believe, but there’s still a part of you that says “could this really be true?” We have all had those moments when we are reminded that we were “spared” from a fatal situation. If you haven’t had that experience or know of someone who has… just keep living.
Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates 90 Minutes in Heaven as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs.)…just the right mixture of content and pages.