Book Review: The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven
This is a combination book review and letter to its co-authors. I have a very “strong” urge, which I believe is God telling me I must share this.
Book: The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Kevin & Alex Malarkey
The review will be short: This is the remarkable story of a man and his family coming to grips with terrible family trauma that ended with a physical body broken, but a spiritual body renewed. Having said that, I should add that the body is as the church many bodies in one whole. Kevin tells the story, the details, the events, the miracles and Alex shares the wisdom. Together, they both share the glory of God, who can and will do things His own way, and this is the way He did it in theirs. It is a wonderful book.
I have been fascinated with God all of my life. I had a rough childhood so I did not have a father figure that I could depend on, so after a very hard moment and feeling like I wanted to die, at 15 I looked to the ceiling of my room and asked God if He could just make me one of His stars. That is also my middle name. I felt like I was no good, I was nothing and if He made me a star I could just be and be His and no one could hurt me again. Of course that did not happen, what did happen was I began to call Him Daddy. I was already saved. I knew who He was and now I just felt I needed to tell Him that. He has simply always been there, and I just talk to Him.
I wanted to read about angels. I had an encounter with a heavenly host, whether it was an angel or Jesus Himself I do not know. It happened from behind me. I heard a voice saying John 14. The miracle will be a post on my blog, but just know I believe you, because of my own experience.
I went to the library to pick-up the book that I had on hold about Billy Graham, Angels and several others books about angels that I saw on the online catalog from our library – many were missing, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven was there. I checked out 7 books about spiritual leaders including Graham, Mother Teresa and Dr. David Jeremiah also John C. Maxwell. Of those books “the boy” was last. Of the rest, I read Dr. Graham’s Angels (just a week before I had read parts of 2 of his other books – but I kept suddenly feeling so tired I just was lulled to sleep. I am used to reading a book a day, sometimes more than that). It took me 2 weeks to finish Angels because I just felt tired and when I read it disconnected, but I did finish it. So after thumbing through the other books and just picking out parts to read “the boy” was the last book in the pile. I literally have no need to use my glasses for a book I am interested in – though large print is easier and now I have a kindle with zoom.
I started to read, immediately I needed my glasses to read it and then of course I care about the story, which makes me “want” to read it faster but the “fog” came over me. I also felt a tremendous let down when I saw the pictures. A part of me wanted “my version” of your miracle to happen. I immediately shut the book. I am a natural photo freak, so not even reading the captions was strange.
It took 3 days before I would even approach “the boy” (that’s how the book is, it is the boy, its Alex). So today, I began by looking at the pictures – again I needed my glasses and again I felt disappointed especially seeing the boy in the chair – in my mind the boy is not in the chair.
So I am reading and its getting “foggy” and I am now to the point of the book about the devil (I never give him the courtesy of using his name if I can help it), and I realize its him “lulling” me, keeping me from God’s goal. I believe the goal is this letter. So I began reading again after talking to God about it (its never prayer for me its just an on the clock always online connection or “banter” if you will – I think of prayer as a time set aside, without interruption solely to praise God – this I do each night).
I began to pick up speed in the story. I come to the chapter that begins “The Road Ahead”…immediately comes to me you are finished, that is the limit for now – only God will set His limits, I recall “it is finished” being uttered once by God and that was on the cross. Nevertheless, a limitless God does set finish limits for us, for right now. I battle with a mental disability that remains because I believe it’s useful to Him (because He can convey through me), useful to me for spiritual education and useful to others for spiritual growth. “…be content…” Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” That’s Him saying accept My limits.
Then it occurs to me I have a beautiful son who pushed his physical limits, my physical limits. I told him he was ornery, he asked me what “ornery” was. He was 9 years old at the time and we had just gone through our own harrowing recovery from Kawasaki disease and the 3 months it took to get him back to his regular ornery energy level. My answer to him was its you, its Josh. Then I thought of my other son who has pushed every mental limit I have, openly oppositionally defiant (questioned everything I said). So Ben is mentally ornery and Josh is physically ornery, then I turn the page and it’s a quote from the “boy” that he’s ornery. It is dawning on me that this has become a “word” a direct message from God.
The boy named Josh became the boy named Ben – from physical to mental in action, but still Alex fully in action.
I do not mean to be hurtful but I believe God is saying for now it is finished where your body is concerned, but I believe young Peter you are already walking – walking on water.
Which led me to your license plate WIL WALK.
I hope that you find what I did, that sometimes its okay to be content (not complacent) because other things need to grow and other things need to happen first. I write a blog, my ornery Ben who is now 26, told me to blog my writing – about the pain I went through as a child, my spiritual journey, motherhood, and bipolar. I have stories, poems, wisdom and some opinions about things and little pictures with words of wisdom on them, I call them seed pics. I call myself a dandelion and my wisdom my seeds. Dandelions never stay down they always get up again and their seeds always fly. I believe what I write comes directly from the throne (if I may be so bold – and yes He is my Daddy too – and yes Ben gets his oppositional aspect from me). I talk to God sometimes like a naughty teenager, but as with all parents, He reels me in. You are no longer just a survivor, but now an over comer.
So I come to the end of this book – now that I have this “word” it’s a book and I walk to the bathroom and of course I ask for His approval and if He wants me to say it to put it in order, so it makes sense…and as I leave the bathroom its apparent I have to share it, but also that you Alex are like me. A conduit and just as you see the face of God in a smile you can see the face of God in the heart. I believe He is saying its okay for it to be about you, because it all directly points to Him, and all of His giving to you shows in the daily things you do.
I am moved to add I understand how you feel about sharing. I want Him to have the glory, too. I have only just begun to share my story “our story” “His story” His story of my life.
I sometimes feel when I share a certain miracle that I am sitting with this beautiful Christmas present, that is so perfect, so perfectly wrapped, that will bring so much joy and good when its finally opened. But, it is still November and I have to “live” with the knowledge of this gift until Christmas morning, it cannot be opened sooner, that is His limit, not mine.
So write about your journey, your family, your visits, your normal boring days. All of it is a picture of Him to the world.
I am antsy about this part but I feel led to keep it.
Kevin & Becky I would also like to say it is finally time to go in the bedroom and lock the door and ask God for the same spiritual awakening to happen in your marriage. Because they will all get married and its time for them to see just how the love God gave you for each other sustained you even in the darkest hours is still working. He did it; they need to see just like Alex’s journey turned to the light so its time for yours together. They have seen how it works in the hard times. It is still very important to see how it works the rest of the time.
Here’s the last word, and it’s from me. It has taken me longer to write this letter than to read the last half of the book. My defiance asks if this book was written 2 years ago, is it still relevant and, He says yes. So there you go. It is finished.