Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review: My Journey to Heaven, by Marvin Besteman

[CONTAINS SPOILERS] This was a pretty light read. Senior citizen Marvin "Marv" Besteman went to the hospital for a fairly routine procedure on his liver and when he woke up from the surgery, he was in so much pain that he apparently died. 

When he died, he had an extremely traditional heaven visit, in terms of pop culture heaven. He went to the 'pearly gates' which for him were made out of wood. He was dressed in his golf clothes. He waited in a line and got to St. Peter. St. Peter had his fisherman clothes on, and his boat was even parked nearby. 

Peter told him it wasn't his day to die yet, but Marv loved heaven so much he insisted on a second opinion. So Peter went 'to talk to God' and while he did that, Marv got a glimpse of heaven. It was a little odd.

First, he saw about 6 people that he knew. In heaven, all of your loved ones coincidentally hang out next to the entrance, apparently. He also saw 'scores' of babies, from the tiniest fetus up to a normal infant. They were all over the place, kind of hovering a few inches above the lawn. They were 'grouped together' by age and size and no one was taking care of them, but Marv said they all looked very happy, even the little fetuses. 

Peter sends Marv back to Earth, and while back here Marv hears the voice of God tell him to tell his story to everyone. He writes the book and the day he finishes it, he gets extremely ill and thereafter dies the end. 


I liked it. Do I believe that heaven is almost anything like what he described? Nope. What he experienced was maybe a type of vision but I don't believe he went to heaven. But this was an enjoyable read, and was clearly a positive experience for the author. Marv was clearly a very devout Christian throughout his life, and with the 6 years or so that he lived after he had 'died,' he told a lot of people about his experience and he relates in his book that many people he talked to felt inspired to change their lives. That if heaven was a reality, and they believed him when he said it was, they needed to improve some things. 

It was a fun book and a very light but enjoyable read. It's funny that he says the entire heaven visit took about 20-30 minutes or so in real time, but that he was able to write an entire book out of it. He pads it a bit with commentary and context a lot, but that doesn't get in the way too much. And I really liked that Marv said Peter shook his hand and said, "Hi, Marv. Welcome to Heaven. I'm Peter!"

And as odd as the baby part was, I did like the anti-abortion message there.

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