(Pictured right: artist Akiane and her painting, “Prince of Peace”)

A 4-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl encountered Jesus. And, remarkably, though they had never met, the images they carried of Him in their memories were identical.

I wrote about these two children in my book Divine Alignment, balancing their accounts with over 150 others who had visions of death, experienced heaven, then came back to life. How could the likenesses of Jesus be compared? One child was divinely motivated to render an artistic painting of Christ. Here’s her story:

“Today I met God,” whispered the sweet, blond Akiane — pronounced ah-kee-ah-nah.

“God?” replied her mother Foreli, instantly puzzled. She’d never spoken about religion to her children; an atheist, she never prayed, nor went to church.

“God talks with me.”

“So, who is your God?” asked Foreli, her mind racing between alarm and astonishment.

“I cannot tell you.”

“You can tell your own mom.”

“The light told me not to,” answered Akiane with firmness.

It was another six weeks before Akiane again spoke about God — this time, accompanied by an intense interest in drawing. It was as if she needed a means greater than words to express her visions and conversations with God.

“She scribbled and sketched with her eyes closed ... hundreds of figures and portraits on whatever surfaces she found ... walls, windows, furniture, books, even her own legs and arms. I would find our white walls smeared with charcoal from our fireplace,” says Foreli.

Experiencing a real-life mystery, Foreli and her husband tried to understand their daughter’s faith. They ventured to different churches, seeking information and found themselves drawn to the messages. It was a challenging time in their lives. They were nearly broke, and God met them where they were.

“For the first time in our lives we were experiencing indescribable joy, harmony and peace,” says Foreli.

When Akiane was 8, her mother found her up early one morning, gazing through the window.

“What are you doing?” asked her mother gently.

“I was with God again. I was told to pray continually. He was whiter than the whites of whites. As I approached my Father what impressed me the most were His gigantic hands. They were full of maps and events. He told me that from now on, I needed to get up very early and get ready for my mission.”

A short while later, Akiane’s total attention was placed on painting the face of Jesus from her visions.

For weeks, Akiane went to malls, parks and street corners where she looked at thousands of faces passing by. She searched for someone whose features came close to the image of Christ in her mind.

As she became more and more frustrated, she asked her family to pray with her for an entire day.

“God, I need you to send me the right model ... maybe it’s too much to ask, but could you send him right through our front door?” she tearfully beseeched.

No one could have predicted the Divine Alignment that unfolded the very next day. The doorbell rang. It was an acquaintance of the family, a lady who said she thought that Akiane might like the features of the man she brought with her — a handsome, very tall man who smiled warmly.

Akiane was stunned that God would answer her prayer so promptly — right through the front door!

“That’s him,” Akiane whispered.

He was handsome; dressed in jeans, a white T-shirt and old sneakers.

“What do you do?” Foreli asked.

“I’m a carpenter.”

“The process of her painting was incomprehensible,” said her mother later. “It was as though the Almighty was vibrating through her every vein.”

The portrait resembled the model, but Akiane altered features to reproduce the image of Jesus from her memory.

“Like a bold light, he’s pure; he’s really masculine, he’s strong and big. And his eyes are just beautiful.”

In my book Divine Alignment, which explains how mysterious connections position us in the right place at the right time for God to get us where He wants us to go, I compared Akiane’s account with another child who, also at age 4, had encountered Jesus. Colton Burpo’s experiences were told in the bestseller Heaven Is For Real. He had apparently died, experienced heaven, and came back to life.

Colton’s father Todd had been trying to find a picture that matched the image of Jesus in his son’s memory. One day he asked Colton to look at a CNN television report about Akiane. When her painting of Jesus came on the screen, the little boy said, unequivocally, “Dad, that one’s right.”

Two kids with remarkable visions of heaven reporting comparable images of Jesus, including the extraordinary nature of His eyes. “His eyes are just beautiful,” said Akiane. “His eyes are soooo pretty,” said Colton.

Akiane’s story and her paintings are in a book called Akiane.