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Illumination
Monday, July 1, 2024 by Brave Knight Writers

A recent event gained me new insights and qualifications. This blog is not intended to bring attention to my situation but rather to everyone’s. It is our nature to go about our daily lives with a feeling of wellbeing, it’s a healthy attitude for our physical existence. Where it all goes awry, we place too much value on our stuff, our importance, and false beliefs. Nothing sorts out reality more than finding yourself crossing over.

In my experience, I lost half my blood due to abdominal aneurysms. My blood pressure dropped to 50/30 and I sensed myself leaving my body. They say your life flashes before you, well, it was more of an awareness of how little, so much means. Daily dramas over trivial and petty disputes really gain nothing. In the big scheme of things, we leave it all behind.

As the medical staff worked to resuscitate me, I had no awareness of their efforts. My wife said there were about a dozen people taking part. A nurse told me they had me hanging by my feet. My memory of this event, although vivid from my own perspective, left me with no recollection of the physical world. Instead, I remember questioning if I should pray to stay in my damaged body or move on to another space. Peace embraced me as I let go of all my worldly blessings and gratefulness overwhelmed me for all my life’s experiences. The prayer I remember mulling was for God’s will to be done and to be wrapped in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, to conceal my shortcomings.

My week in the hospital was filled with humor. I harassed my room mate a bit, joked with the doctors and nurses. When the Angio doctor came into the operating room, I asked him if he had watched the latest YouTube videos on the procedure. When my pastor came to pray over me and I shared how close I had come to dying, I said, “I saw no bright light, just some flickering flames.”  I asked, “What do you think it means?”  He laughed, I guess I need more work. God wants us to laugh, he wants us to celebrate the gift of life and our spiritual birth.

We love our home, it is the fruit of much labor, but I remind myself constantly of the fact we must be willing to walk away at any time. Like our body, everything is temporary. We can’t cling to any of it, nor should we place too high a value on it. In Romans 12:2 we see this lesson, ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’

The support, encouragement, and prayer offerings were overwhelming. I received messages from Australia, Africa, Europe, and all over the United States. Most people offered to pray for me, those who stated this showed me they had no fear of scoffers and mockers. Others said I would be in their thoughts, so what does that mean? To me, it meant they didn’t believe in any powers higher than themselves. If true, how would their thoughts do me any good? I appreciate the gesture, but did it have any real value? I refer to Revelation 3:16, the NIV: So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Then there were those who offered nothing—no inquiry, no prayers or thoughts—close blood relatives who blew off this near-death event as if I were a stranger.

 Well, the event provided great insight into how people would view my passing. Not many people are blessed with such knowledge. It’s a game changer. Honesty and truth can be harsh and heart-breaking but it also sets you free and lets you focus on where to place your future efforts and concerns.

Recovery has proven to be a tough process, both physically and emotionally. The doctors have helped physically, and many friends have risen to show their love and concern. The process has shed light on those who care as well as those who don’t. No bitterness forms in my heart, and our prayers will continue for the lost. One question has been answered, would I have what it takes to walk away from everything if the government put stipulations on receiving a number to pay property taxes or engage in business transactions? When Y2K occurred, I watched as people horded and stockpiled supplies. It was never my style. In the event of some worldwide catastrophe, I will let go and walk toward the chaos. My survival will be ushered in by Jesus Christ. Do I wish for death or the world to end? Absolutely not, no one knows when either event will occur, so it is best to build treasures in heavenly places.

Matthew 6:19-21 NIV tells us: ‘Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.’

One of the best medicines for my recovery has come from the children who surround me. In the days prior to my bleeding event, we took five children to Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, PA. to see the Daniel play. We were filled with joy by the performance, special effects, and delight of the children. Boom. From this high point, the next day I found myself bleeding to death. It wasn’t a low point though; it was just an event to remind me how fragile physical life can be. Live, and appreciate every moment you are granted. At my homecoming from the hospital, grandchildren ran to me arms wide for hugs screaming, “Pappy!”

 Luke 18:15-17 ‘Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it. They rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’

Grateful?” You betcha.    

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