Many years ago at a thrift shop somewhere, I found a falling-apart paperback copy of the book, Intra Muros. First published in the 1890's, it's an account of a "visit to Heaven" which author Rebecca Springer had while she was in a coma for weeks. My, my, my... For me, that book changed everything. Instead of dreading death (mine and others') suddenly I became nearly impatient to get to Heaven.
I loaned the book to other people and some came away wildly blessed, others just mildly so. But I wished I could find another copy to keep with me at home for the times I had cravings to read it. Soon after that wish I was stepping through a dark junk warehouse with a friend, a place with tables heaped with stuff not good enough for the Salvation Army store next door.
And oh! From a dusty pile of books I pulled the copy of Intra Muros which you saw at the top of this post. I nearly screamed (but kept it to a squeal) and tried to convey my excitement to my friend, who only nodded and didn't understand. (Story of my pre-Internet life.) I believe I paid 50 cents for this 1898 edition and am still, all these years later, thanking God for placing it inside that junk warehouse for me.
Anyway. Although I am reminded of Intra Muros whenever I think of Heaven and each time I lose someone to death, I'd not reread it in at least 4 years. But yesterday I pulled it from my bookshelf and oh! It's all come back as to why I love that book... why it's forever in my Top Five Books I'd Have To Take To a Deserted Island.
Rebecca's (long!) visit to Heaven illustrates how connected this world is with the next one. How what we become here and what we do for others matters in the next life. How Heaven is an extension of this life, only in a perfect form. And how it matters that we take the people we love with us, as in, make certain they come to know Jesus here.
Always I've loved books with lovely room-by-room descriptions of houses and oh! This book has that in spades, but with descriptions of heavenly rooms--and how could it get any better than that? Also, since watching Truth or Consequences at age 6 I've adored watching reunions of people and Intra Muros has tons of those.
And times spent with Jesus! Those are the best.
Have any fear about dying? Nagged by daily worries here on Earth? Unable to shake the sadness over loved ones who you know are with God? Bothered by your lack of control over things in Life? Need some joy?
Then Intra Muros is the book for you.
In its many reprintings it's also been re-titled, Within Heaven's Gates. Also, My Dream of Heaven. I can think of no better way to start this new year confidently and with much peace than by reading this amazing book. Truly.
Find more copies here.
Yay! You can now read Intra Muros online if you wish. Go here.