Every so often my wife puts a book in front of me and says, “Now you must read this one.” To be fair, I do the same with her – and that is just the way things ought to be in marriage. However, I must confess that sometimes I am not impressed with her recommendations. I hope she does not read this review, because it would make for a long summer. I feel certain that she is not always enthralled by my recommendations of books as well.
Recently Pam came to me with the book entitled 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life, written by Baptist minister Don Piper. At first glance, I thought that the book must be a novel – and I like a good one every now and then – but to my surprising delight 90 Minutes in Heaven is not a fictional work. It is the testimony of a man who was pronounced dead and lived to tell about the experience.
On Jan. 18, 1989, Don Piper was returning home from a Baptist meeting in south Texas when an 18-wheeler, driven by a prison inmate, careened out of control and struck his Ford Escort. Piper had just begun wearing his seat belt that day, and that safety precaution saved his life. A pastor traveling from the same meeting he attended stopped and prayed for him. The minister had been told that Don Piper was dead, but undeterred he went ahead and prayed for him anyway, only to find Don had a pulse. The rescue medical personnel went into overdrive racing to the hospital.
This begins years of recovery accompanied by agonizing pain and numerous experimental treatments. Don Piper’s story is both tragic and inspirational. It is also a testimony of how well his church family, friends and personal family came through to help him in this time of need. I do not want to rob you of the wonderful experience of how the Lord works in a time of need. This book would be an excellent summer read for anyone seeking to understand how hopeless situations become hopeful ones.