Friday, April 21, 2017

The Light

I didn’t plan to spend my Friday night working on this article. But the words of this article have been boiling and brewing in my mind for so long to a point where I am almost incapable of doing anything else. I really hope you will keep an open mind while reading this, and you will read it till the very end. I am hoping that as a result, it will change your perspective and even your life.

I am working at a rehab hospital for people with spinal cord injuries. In a lot of cases, people’s injuries were so severe that they had a near death experience. You might have heard of it before, their “soul” left their body and they saw the “light” or even spoke to God. Skeptics argued that it was just a delusion or imagination. Well, this week, I had two very interesting encounters with two ladies at my work place and their stories prompted me to write this article.

Krista Burling is a friend of mine. She is an outpatient. Her injury happened many years ago. She came this Tuesday for her doctor’s appointment. We were chatting in the lobby area.“I have to tell you something.” She said, “September 25th of last year, I had a really bad lung infection, I fainted and when my parents came to my rescue they could feel that my heart was beating slower and weaker. I think I died at that moment.”

She said that within a second, she was brought to Heaven, it was a beautiful world with vivid colors and magnificent view. Krista became a Christian at a very young age. She was once again in her youthful body and at the corner of her eye, she could still see her earthly body lying there. Then she saw a waterfall, it was shining like diamonds and the water droplets were in the shapes of snowflakes. She saw a light coming from behind the waterfall, a blinding light, yet her eyes were not hurt. She heard the voice of God. I stopped her and asked, “Do you think it was God the Father or Jesus.” “I believe it was the Father.” The voice said to her, “Krista, today is not your day.” Krista didn’t want to leave heaven and go back to her body of pain. She bargained with God for a while, until God said, “I will come back soon for my church.” Then she found herself in a hospital room and stayed there for the next 3 weeks before she was discharged. It took a few more weeks for her to recover fully. She was forever changed. She said that she doubted God and yelled at Him many many times in her life. But this time she was given the assurance that God is real and Heaven is real. She tells her experience to almost everyone she knows, some believed and cried with her, some brushed her off.

I had reservation when I first heard of her story, Oh, I believed in it whole heartedly. However, I wasn’t sure if I should share it, or how to share it in an effective and convincing way. I didn’t go outside of my comfort zone, I only told a few friends and family members who are already Christians. I thought, okay, let Krista tell the story in her own words. I am good, I already told a few people. BUT, today, I was talking to another lady and this time, I realize that I am the only person who can effectively share this story, I have to get this out.

This lady is an inpatient, she had her injury only a few weeks ago. She is a new comer from China, she doesn’t speak a lot of English. My colleague Ivan asked me to translate for him and become her peer support. I will call her Lee.

Lee told me that she was hit by a car while crossing the street. She had a head injury, a spinal cord injury, a wrecked shoulder and a broken pelvis. The doctor didn’t think she would make it and asked her husband to fly to Canada to prepare for her funeral. Her husband took the very next flight and didn’t even pack a luggage. As she was describing the chaos, I asked her, “did you see a light when you were in the coma?” Her eyes were wide open, “Yes! I remember, for a very long time, I saw this blinding light above my head, I was in this place that was just so, so, so bright, to a point where my eyes were hurt.”
“Did you see a colorful world?”
“No, it was just a place that was really bright.”
I asked again, “did you see a man?”
“I saw a figure wrapped in light. I think it was a woman.” 
“You sure it wasn't a man?”
“It was a woman.” (My Catholic friend told me that it was Mary)
“Were you at peace?”
“I had no fear, I just felt normal.”

What amazed her was, for days, she had been telling people about this experience, which she could not explain it either. Everyone around her kept on telling her that she was in a confused mental state. I was the first person who told her what she had experienced before she even brought it up.
“Did you believe in God?”
“My landlord became a Christian all of the sudden, and she dragged me to church twice. I really didn’t learn much from it.”
“Do you know the story of Jesus?”
“Not really.”
“I think you went to heaven, or a taste of what it was like.”
She nodded and wanted me to tell her more about God next week. Before we parted, she asked, “Did you see the light?”

I never really died, my injury was never life-threatening. I didn’t see the light. But I didn’t need to see it to believe in it.I always want to write an article about heaven, but I didn’t have enough materials to make my case. What these two women told me this week gave me the courage to share my faith more boldly and shamelessly, and most importantly, it affected me. It radicalized me. The reality of Heaven, the anticipation of Christ’s return makes everything on earth matters less, it makes everything glorious.  

Lastly, I just want to say, if Heaven is real, you really cannot afford not to believe in it. On the other hand, if it's not, then people like me are fools, stupid, naive, happy fools. But we cannot find out for sure until the day we die.

Lastly, here is an interview I really like, it’s done by ABC’s 20/20. Please watch it!