This blog is not about a boy or his family, it is about a book and a publisher. Before you go crazy googling a bunch of crap, check out young Alex’s mother’s blog. The header picture is taken right from her header. She seems like wonderful person and her story saddens me.
So a 6-year-old boy awoke from a 2-month coma and started tell a wonderful story about how he died and spent some time chillin’ with God. After a decade of telling the story and watching it turn into a best-selling novel and a TV movie, young Alex has stepped forward and announced that his story was just that, a story. He has given this as an explanation, “I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention”. He was SIX. What six year old doesn’t want attention. And this one just woke up in a hospital and found out he was a quadriplegic.
The whole world seems in shock and upset at this young man (old boy, whatever). I gotta confess, I was a little sad that his story wasn’t true myself. It isn’t like Alex is saying that he doesn’t believe in God. On the contrary, he is saying that now he is older and understands the Bible better (seriously how much could a six-year-old understand) he wanted the truth to come out because it is wrong that people are profiting from lies (seriously?).
This family has their own circumstances to overcome. The marriage is history, the boy is 16 and bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, the book and using of his name are apparently driving him and his mother nuts. Now Tyndale House, the publisher, is pulling the book from shelves. There are some horrible things in this story. First off, there is a young man without use of arms or legs for the rest of his life. My short time in a wheelchair taught me one thing if nothing else, I never wanted to be there again. Being raised by a single mother now, with three other kids, puts the family is a position that bring sadness to me heart for the entire family.
If you believe the stories, all the profit from the book goes to dad while family and friends are footing all Alex’s medical expenses. So my question to you Alex, and your mother, Beth, is this, why are you not taking your share of the money? Why struggle with the burden of financial strain on top of all the other challenges laid before you? Profiting off the book is not evil. It was a great story. Let the world enjoy it!
Tyndale House should smarten the heck up. I understand the Christian book stores not wanting it on their shelves. They see it as a blemish on their perfect religion (how soon they forget the crusades and the condolences and we won’t even mention the catholic priests). Am I the best Christian in the world? Probably not even in my own house (have you read my blog?), but I try. I am a Christian. I love my God, my church, my family, AND a good book. Would you please just move the book to the fiction shelf at Chapters and Barnes and Noble and move on with the healing? This healing will be helped with the proceeds from the book I might add. If you don’t want the money, give it to your church. If they don’t want it, donate it to a hospital or some other family with a child in a wheelchair.
Being a decent man, fairly good father, exceptional husband and self-made comedian, I would easily buy this book if it was sitting right next to The Shack on my local bookstore shelf. The Shack was one of the best books I have ever read and I have a surprise for you, it wasn’t a true story either. You admitted the lie which proves you are a man, a better man than most I might add, but that does not mean that you can’t ‘profit from a lie’. It is called fiction and there is a lot of it out there.
Alex, I am sorry that you are hurting but I hope that you find a way to move on with your life without allowing (or making) this book define who you are. Do me a favor… sit down with your mother and write another book about how this all happened. I assure you that it will be a best-seller, maybe not in the Christian stores at first, but true believers love the truth, even when it comes with a little spice.
For the rest of us, we better get our copies now…