Sunday, September 18, 2005

To Hell and Back … a story that deserves to be shared

This is a true story that was shared with me a couple years ago. I think about it often, so I'm sharing it.

A man was sick with cancer. After battling for over two years he began to decline quickly. He was hospitalized, and felt as though he was taking his last breath. But he wasn’t ready to go. He fell into a coma, and saw himself leaving his body, floating above it while medical personnel struggled to revive him.

He traveled down a dark tunnel, but there was a bright light at the end. As he walked toward the light he saw people, some he had known but who had passed before him. They looked happy, content, some reached out to him. One of them was his brother, whom he had not spoken to since he was incarcerated for murder, and who had later been killed in a fight with another prisoner. His brother said to him, “It’s not your time, yet. You must go back.” Knowing his brother was right, he turned around, and floated back into his hospital room, and settled down comfortably into his body, again.

Months passed, but he did not seem to get any better. He was discouraged, and depressed. He started refusing treatments that only made him feel sicker. He decided that he had had enough, and he wanted to die. He willed himself to die.

Again he found himself in a dark tunnel, only there was no light at the end. On either side were people, but they weren’t the happy people from his last trip. They were chained to the walls; some were moaning, some screaming, at the torture they were receiving. And some were children. At first he tried to slow his progress, but something was pulling him forward. He became frightened, and realized this must be Hell. He thought, “No! I’m not ready to die!”

In an instant he was violently pulled back from the tunnel and flung back into his body. He could feel the doctors and nurses working on him to bring him back.

Grateful for yet another chance, he began to battle the cancer again. The cancer went into remission, he began to recover, and to live again. Seeing his brother, the murderer, in heaven, and seeing those children among the sufferers in hell, made him look at things a little differently. God can forgive anything, if only you ask. If you kill yourself, you can’t ask.

Given the alternative, it’s GREAT to be alive!

1 comment:

Running2Ks said...

I love that story!