ABC News correspondent helps parents talk about heaven with their kids
ABC News Emmy Award-winning correspondent Linsey Davis has written a new book to help families talk about paradise with their children.
How high is heaven?is the latest installment of Davis’ children’s books. The ABC News Live Prime and World News Tonight presenter believes it is essential to share messages of faith and hope through her writing.
Published by Zonderkidz, Davis’ latest book was inspired by her 7-year-old son, who started asking about some of his deceased loved ones.
“My parents are both still alive. But my husband’s parents are both deceased and Grandma P, who is my husband’s mother, died when my son was only one year old” , Davis, a professing Christian, shared with The Christian Post in a recent interview.
“So he didn’t remember her, so I started putting out pictures and showing pictures of her with him when he was a baby.”
Following this conversation, Davis’ son kept asking him when he could visit his grandmother. This dialogue and the months that followed are what inspired the book.
“Fast forward a few months later, we were on a plane, and he was looking out the window, and he said, ‘I can’t see her.’ I said, ‘Can’t you see who?’ And he said, “I don’t see Grandma P. I thought we were going to see her since we’re here in heaven,” Davis recalled.
“Heaven can be a very complicated conversation to have with anyone. So we just went to the basics of what my son thought he could physically do to get to heaven. It really inspired me.
Davis has achieved much success with his previous bestselling children’s books – The world is awake, Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different and Stay like this forever. Now with her fourth book, she hopes to capture paradise through the eyes of a child.
“In a fun, childishly whimsical way, my son was physically thinking of trying to build a Lego stairway to heaven, or a pogo stick or a hot air balloon or a trampoline or building a rocket ship to physically get to that place ,” Davis said.
In the book, Davis says the main character travels on an airplane, similar to his son’s experience. But eventually he goes to visit a grandparent and go to church to learn that “it’s not what you physically do to get to this place that matters.”
“At the end of the day, he decides that for now, he’s going to enjoy heaven on earth,” she said.
“The overriding message that I hope children take away is when someone in your life dies, someone in particular that you’re used to seeing all the time or that you can’t wait to see, that you’re going to goodbye,” she continued. “You can always look forward to that moment when you finally see them again and are reunited. I think that’s a really encouraging aspect of it all. This is something that I think has helped my son feel better: [the notion that], ‘Well, maybe not today but one day I will see Grandma P.’ And that was just a small consolation for him.
In the Bible, heaven is where followers of Jesus Christ will spend eternity, where there is no sorrow. Jesus clearly states that he is the only way.
Davis, 44, maintained that she wanted children to know in this season of so much loss that heaven is not the end but something all believers can look forward to.
With the pandemic beginning in early 2020, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 900,000 Americans.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics last October found that for every four deaths from COVID-19, at least one child had lost a parent or primary caregiver. Data showed that between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, more than 140,000 children under the age of 18 in the United States lost a parent, custodial grandparent, or caregiver grandparent. Additionally, the study shows that one in 500 children in the United States have experienced COVID-19-associated orphanage or the death of a caregiver grandparent.
“I hope that [book] will offer them some hope that they will find that loved one again,” Davis told CP.
“In the midst of all the darkness and despair, I think I can say for my own family during COVID, it brought us together. We really enjoyed family time. A lot of distractions were cut away.
Although working in a news industry where reporting is often discouraging, Davis said she tries to stay hopeful and focus on the positive.
“I have found joy in the quality time, conversations and physical closeness with my family,” she added. “I feel blessed when I’m with my family, and I just think whatever we enjoy, a little slice of heaven, I think that’s a way of imagining how I’m feeling right now. C “This is what heaven will be like. I think we should rejoice in these things, always waiting for God’s promise. But I believe that God wants us to feel joy, to experience joy and that we experience his love and presence here on earth as well.
Davis wants families to remove “faith” as a supernatural element of paradise.
“That’s where I think it becomes more of an idea of what the Bible and what the scriptures talk about about faith being the stuff of things that you hope for, without seeing it – walking by faith and not by view. I think you have to believe the Word, and it says Heaven is our reward and we will be reunited with the Father,” Davis explained.
“It’s our belief that God tells us we’ll ascend to heaven, and we can’t wait to hear, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant,'” the New York resident said. “It’s going to be a better place. There will be no more crying, and there will be only rejoicing, joy, singing and laughter. And this is our reward.
The doting mother said she’s being honest with her son about what she doesn’t know when it comes to heaven. She said she just had to “believe and trust that we will make it through and be reunited with our Father and with our loved ones.”
“As I preach to my son, I preach to myself. We all want to have the knowledge and constantly learn the Word every day and then try to apply it,” Davis noted. “What we know of God, it’s that he’s a loving God, so I think we really want to embrace our children and meet them where they are.
How high is heaven?is available wherever books are sold. The book features captivating illustrations by Lucy Fleming, who created characters her son could relate to.
“I have a black son, and I think it’s important for kids of color, it’s important for all kids to see people who look like them and people who don’t look like them,” Davis concluded. .
“When I saw the lack of representation in children’s books, I thought that instead of just bemoaning the problem and complaining about the problem, let me help be part of the solution. That’s so what’s given me real energy and a broader purpose is really adding much-needed diversity to children’s books.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Contact her at: [email protected] She is also the author of the book, What’s happening to me? How to defeat your invisible enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic