I received this book from my aunt who sent it to me saying 'You have to read this book!' It's the amazing story of Baptist Minister Don Piper and the account of his experience in heaven following a horrific car accident in January 1989.
I'd heard a lot about this book prior to reading it and honestly, the reviews were quite mixed. I didn't know really what to expect. From the very beginning, he makes it quite clear that he died during that accident and he is adamant about that fact.
His story begins the morning of the accident and eventually what he remembers in the hours that follow. The accident itself is daunting and scary to hear in detail. It's something you wish no one should ever have to go through.
According to Mr. Piper, what happens next is both unbelievable and miraculous at the same time. As the minutes go by and the EMT's wait for the coroner's arrival to pronounce him dead, a passing motorist, another minister, stops and asks if there is anyone he can pray for. They explain to him that the only person injured is the deceased man in the Ford Escort, Don Piper. Lead by a force he can only explain as God insisting he go pray for the dead man, this other minister climbs through the back of Don's crushed car, touches his shoulder, the only part of his mangled body he can reach, and starts praying and singing hymns. As the minutes pass and the praying minister is brought to tears by the sheer horror of this tragic accident, he soon notices that his is not the only voice he hears. Singing an old hymn, he opens his eyes and sees Don singing with him. He feels for a pulse and upon finding one, jumps from the car and yells 'This man is alive!'. Although it took him several moments more for him to convince the EMT's he wasn't crazy. Finally, almost two hours after the accident, Don is removed from the car and on his way to the hospital. That in and of itself is an amazing story, but what follows is even more incredible.
Don Piper goes through the gamet of emotions after surviving a near fatal accident with injuries that would surely kill most people. Miraculously, he suffers no internal injuries, although his bones are broken everywhere and some are even missing. His right arm is the only extremity left intact.
Not only does this book focus on Don and his injuries, but also how he deals with them, all the while wondering if its worth it to be here on earth with all the pain and suffering of his recovery. It's actually an incredible story that I found very encouraging and hopeful. It was enlightening to follow him through his realizations that his accident was not only life-changing for him, but for people around him and even people he has never even met.
In this book, Don takes us through his journey of trying to understand why God sent him back to his earthly home, when in the beginning, all he wanted was to be back in heaven where he felt no pain, only joy and peace.
I didn't find this book to be over the top or preachy in any way. As a Christian myself, I found a certain hopefulness in his words that left me with a positive, comforting feeling inside. Although it does jump around a bit at times, its an easy read. Its a book that each person will probably interpret differently, but all in all, I'm glad I read the book and shared in his experiences.
Have you read this book? If so, please leave me a comment and let me know how you felt about it. I'd be interested to know, as I haven't found many people who've read it.
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN
Author: Don Piper
Published: September, 2007