Through most of my life, there have been a lot of stories heard of people having near-death experiences. Perhaps that is why the stories of Colton Burpo and Akiane Kramarik have appealed to me. Those stories are a part of this blog back in the early months of 2011.
It is not that I either firmly believe those stories or that I firmly denounce their validity. For there is no way that I can definitively state that there is truth or lie with either one of those stories. I cannot affirm or deny them because there is no way that I can say what the workings of God is and how He may work upon us, His creation and children.
What is it that He has done in my own past for which I can say that He has worked in my life? Is the event of the evening of September 11, 1966 a sign that he was directing me in a way of which I was completely unaware? It was that evening that I met the young girl that was to become my wife, That was completely unknown to me for many reasons, but I would never have even suspected it because the night we met she was only 2 days shy of being 14-years-old.
Now, more than 45 years later, we are approaching the 43rd anniversary of our wedding. That evening, we met when her brother drove into Keyes with his two youngest sisters and a family friend. I was with a classmate that evening who said, “Hey, I know that guy,” and we were to end up driving around that evening in Pete’s (her brother) convertible.
After that, there were a few more occasions of meeting up with and spending time with the three of them. I was to learn later that Jo and her sister were asked by their mother as to which of the two did I seem to be interested in the most. Truthfully, I cannot say that there was any particular one of the two sisters that appealed to me. I merely saw both of them and their older brother as friends.
As time would go on, I would take the greatest interest in the youngest. Why? What was there about her that appealed to me more so than the other sister? I cannot say what it was, any more than I can say even now that there were events going on over which I had absolutely no control. I do believe that she has been a great influence upon me and my actions.
Over time, we have heard of the stories of near-death experiences and how those changed the lives of those that experienced them. Jo even claims that in a spell of passing out, she had an experience where she was in a place of beautiful light, warmth, and absolute peace. I was in a panic over that occurrence and I was trying to revive her and she was to tell me later that she didn’t really want to come back from those sensations.
While I’ve never had the same sensations, there have been other family members who have had similar experiences while in desperate times with their health or injury. In most every case where people speak of their near-death experiences, they have described very similar sensations and a disappointment that they couldn’t stay in those experiences.
We always hear of how it will be that Heaven will be a wonderful place, perhaps even exactly as described by those with the near-death events. While I am not afraid of death, I may have fears of how it is that I will die. I have now and likely will still have fears as to the well-being of those that I love as I am passing from life.
If things are as beautiful as many describe those events, it is likely that I will actually relish the “new experience” as I do every time that I have new experiences in life. As a photographer and one who has grown up at the knees of an artist, I relish beauty of every kind. What beauty will I see? Or, will I be one of the unfortunate ones that taste the horrors of Hell and my “passing” experience will one of evil and fear?
I can but live my life the best that I can, trying to please Him who has given me life and direction. I must live my life with the joy of seeing the beauty before me on this earth with the hope that I will see even greater beauty at the end.
Hearkening back to the title of this post, “What did he see?” my thoughts go to the recent story of the passing of Steve Jobs. One of the news stories I heard stated that in his last words were, “Oh, Wow…..Oh, Wow.”
I know nothing of the faith and beliefs of Steven Jobs, but those words speak wonders to me in that he must have seen something that was of unbelievable beauty and wonder as he was leaving the surly bonds of Earth.
May it be that we all have the same experience.