The Christophers: How High is Heaven?
Toni Rossi, Director of Communications
In light of her work as an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, Linsey Davis has to cover some dark events on the national and world stage. But on the homefront, she finds hope and inspiration with her husband and young son, Ayden. In fact, Ayden is her muse in her recent career of writing faith-based children’s books. Her first one, “The World is Awake,” earned a Christopher Award – and her latest, “How High is Heaven?” addresses a question many parents have to deal with when a loved one dies. Linsey joined me on “Christopher Closeup” to discuss the inspiration behind that story.
When Ayden was five years old, he asked why his friends had four grandparents, but he only had two (Linsey’s mom and dad). Linsey explained that her husband’s mother, Grandma P, died when he was only one and now lives in heaven. Her son declared, “I want to go see her in heaven!” Linsey said they couldn’t do that, then thought his interest in the topic would go away. But two months later, they were on a plane together when Ayden peered out the window and noted he was searching for his Grandma P. He said, “I thought while we were up here in heaven, we were going to see her.”
Linsey realized that Ayden’s questions were likely common, so she wrote “How High is Heaven,” illustrated by Lucy Fleming. Linsey said, “It’s a whimsical look at one little boy’s path in trying to see his grandmother again. Can he take a hot air balloon or a pogo stick or a trampoline or a spaceship [to heaven]? Then, [he realizes,]...that’s not how you get to heaven...The one thing that comforted my son was the idea of a reunion, that he would see her again, that this was not goodbye, but see you later.”
Though Linsey’s Christian faith serves as the foundation of her personal life, she remains committed to journalistic objectivity and neutrality when reporting the news. When a subject’s faith is relevant to a news story, however, she is fine with including it. Linsey explained, “With what I do as a journalist, there is a separation of church and state...When I’m sitting in the anchor chair or out with my reporter notebook, I tend to keep the two very separate. When I think [faith] comes into play, [for instance,] I was talking a while ago about one of the earthquakes that happened in Haiti. We were there on a Sunday, so we did go to church, to see where people were still showing their faith. I did think that was important to highlight in that kind of moment.”
At the end of the day, Linsey always makes time to get grounded in God and prayer. She said, “Every night before I go to bed, I’m still on my knees, thanking God for all of the blessings—and [praying about] those things that concern me, that are weighing on my heart. I’m asking for understanding or for help or whatever it might be. When I wake up, I tend to read from two different daily meditation books . . . Sometimes I’m almost checking it off the list, but I need to let that Word sink in and process it and keep it with me throughout the day. But for sure, at the end of the day is like a little set-aside time to give thanksgiving and sometimes trying to get some help with a concern or praying for other people.”
For free copies of the newest Christopher News Note, “Lift Up Your Hearts,” write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: email@example.com