3/02/2014

Three Phone Calls from Heaven


If I were in Coldwater, Michigan, I’d have received three calls from heaven—from my dad, mom, and son Adrian, in that order. They would have said what people living in Jesus’ home would say, “We are happy.”

In Mitch Albom’s latest novel, “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” which happens in a fictitious place called Coldwater, telephones ring—and each of those calls come from heaven with this joyous message, “Everything is good here.”
 
This phenomenon turns the small town into a circus, where people from out of town swarm like insects, hoping to also get calls from their loved ones. The media likewise scramble to cover the story that has riveted the whole country. 

This book is different from all of Albom’s books. The pacing is fast and it is almost like a thriller, but his faith, which sparkles in all of his six books, continues to illumine readers. His belief in heaven—that things do not end in this life—is clear, and that the book ends just as the life of Christians will end—happily ever after. 
The best part of the book, for me as an author, is the first clause in his acknowledgment, “This book was written with God’s grace . . .”

Then his last paragraph almost parallels my thinking about writing: “Finally—and firstly—anything created by my heart or hand is from God, by God, through God, and with God. We may not know the truth about phones and heaven, but we do know this: in time, He answers all calls, and He answered mine.”

I say almost because I know the truth about heaven (the glorious place where believers will go), but I am not sure about what I’d say if I ever received a phone call from mom, dad, and Adrian. When the heart overflows with joy, it has no space for words.

(Mitch Albom was in the Philippines to visit the Yolanda victims and also to promote this book. But those are not the reasons why I bought my copy. I have all of his books and I personally endorse writers who stoke readers' hope in a bigger life and stir their dormant faith.)

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