Emmy Award-winning ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis has authored a new book to help families discuss Heaven 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 anchor thinks it’s 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 began to ask questions about some of his deceased loved ones.
“My parents are both still alive. But my husband’s parents have both passed away, and Grandma P, who is my husband’s mother, passed away when my son was just 1,” Davis, a professing Christian, shared with The Christian Post in a recent interview.
“So he didn’t remember her, and so, I started getting out pictures and showing pictures of her with him when he was a baby.”
Following that conversation, Davis’ son kept asking her when he could visit his grandmother. That 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 don’t see her.’ I said, ‘You don’t 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 really complicated conversation to have with anybody. So then, we just went to the basics of what my son was thinking he could physically do in order to get to Heaven. It just really inspired me.”
Davis achieved much success with her previous bestselling children’s books — The World Is Awake, One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike than Different and Stay This Way Forever. Now with her fourth book, she hopes to grasp Heaven from the eyes of a child.
“In a fun, whimsical way of a child, my son was thinking about physically trying to build a Lego staircase to Heaven, or a pogo stick or a hot air balloon or a trampoline or build a rocket ship to physically get to this place,” Davis said.
In the book, Davis says the main character travels on a plane, similar to her son’s experience. But ultimately, he goes to visit one grandparent and attends church to learn that “it’s not about what you physically do to get to this place.”
“In the end, he decides that for now, he’ll enjoy Heaven on earth,” she said.
“The overarching message that I hope the kids will take away with is when someone dies in your life, someone especially you’re used to seeing all the time or that you look forward to seeing, that you’re going to see them again,” She continued. “You can still look forward to that time that you will ultimately see them again and be reunited. I think that that’s a really hopeful aspect of it all. It was something that I think made my son feel better: [the notion that], ‘Well, maybe not today but one day I will see Grandma P.’ And that was some small consolation for him.”
In the Bible, Heaven is the place followers of Jesus Christ will spend eternity, where there is no sorrow. Jesus clearly states that He is the only way there.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me,” Jesus said in John 14:6. In John 8:24, Jesus said: “For unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”
Davis, 44, maintained she wants Children to know in this season of so much loss that Heaven is not the end but something to which all believers can look forward.
With the pandemic starting 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 COVID-19 deaths, at least one child had lost a parent or primary caregiver. Data showed that from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, more than 140,000 children under age 18 in the U.S. lost a parent, custodial grandparent or grandparent caregiver. Additionally, the study shows that one out of 500 children in the U.S. has experienced COVID-19 associated orphanhood or death of a grandparent caregiver.
“I’m hopeful that this [book] will offer them some hope that again they’ll be reunited with that loved one,” Davis told CP.
“In the midst of all the darkness and despair, I think that I can say for my own family during COVID, It’s brought us together. We really had a greater appreciation for the family time. A lot of the distractions were taken away.”
Although working in a news industry where the reports are often discouraging, Davis said she tries to stay hopeful and focus on the positive.
“I found joy in just the quality time and the conversations and physically being close with my family,” she added. “I feel blessed when I’m around my family, and I just think that whatever it is that we enjoy, a little piece of Heaven, I think that’s a way to imagine the way that I feel right now. That’s what Heaven is going to be like. I think that we have to delight in those things, still looking forward to the promise of God. But, I believe that God wants us to feel joy, and experience joy, and experience His love, and His presence here on earth as well.”
Davis wants families to take away “faith” as the supernatural element to Heaven.
“That’s where I think it becomes more of an idea of what the Bible and what the Scripture talks about with regard to faith being the substance of things hoped for, without seeing it —walking by faith and not by sight. I think that you have to believe the Word, and it talks about Heaven being our reward and that we will be reunited with the Father,” Davis explained.
“This is our belief that God tells us that we will ascend into Heaven, and we’re longing to hear, ‘Well done good and faithful servant,’” The New York resident said. “It’s going to be a better place. There won’t be crying anymore, and there’s just rejoicing and joy and singing and laughter. And that is our reward.”
The loving mother said she is honest with her son about what she does not know when it comes to Heaven. She said she just has to “believe and trust that we will get there and that we will be reunited with our Father and with our loved ones.”
“As I preach to my son, I preach to myself. We’re all about having the knowledge and learning constantly every day the Word and then trying to apply it,” Davis noted. “What we do know about God is that He is a God of love. So I think that we want to really embrace our kids and meet them where they are.”
How High Is Heaven?is available everywhere books are sold. The book features engaging illustrations by Lucy Fleming, who created characters to whom her son could relate.
“I have a black son, and I do think it’s important for children of color, it’s important for all children to see people who look like them and people who don’t look like them,” Davis concluded.
“When I was seeing the lack of representation in children’s books, I figured rather than just bemoan the issue and complain about the problem, let me help be a part of the solution. So that’s what has given me a real energy and have a larger purpose is really adding much-needed diversity to children’s books.”
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic