Heaven is a trendy topic, with books such as Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven topping general market bestseller lists. In what appears to be thinly disguised autobiography, James Bryan Smith offers a fictional take on the same subject from a Christian perspective.
After losing his young handicapped daughter, mother, and best friend, bestselling author Tim Hudson embarks on a spiritual retreat to try to make sense of his losses and to recover joy.
While on retreat, he dreams of heaven, where he meets many of his lost loved ones. He encounters ordinary people, such as his childhood barber, as well as famous ones, including C.S. Lewis and Rich Mullins, a.k.a. "Wayne."
Tim also learns that his desire to have his loved ones back is selfish: "We never stop to consider whether their return, if it were possible, would be good for them."
As a vision of what heaven might look like, this is a genuinely poignant read. (Keep the Kleenex handy.) Smith pens a book full of hope, healing, and delight that reassures us about the life that waits after death.
Room of Marvels is available from Christianbook.com and other book retailers.
More information is available from the publisher.
James Bryan Smith is professor of spiritual formation at Friends University.1