Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Other Side

Emotions can be tiring. That's what I'm going through right now--a lot of emotions and I'm tired.

We attended a wedding of one of Reid's niece's daughters last Saturday. It was an interesting Jewish wedding, and the family isn't Jewish. The bride has converted and the groom's mother came from Tel Aviv to attend. Sunday morning the bride's mother had a brunch, and it was there I heard something that made me want to go on over to the "other side."

The bride's father recently had a massive heart attack and as the medical team was working on him, he coded. Suddenly he was out of his body and observing the scene around him. He had difficulty explaining what it was like which reminds me of when Jesus said he had more to tell his followers, but they wouldn't understand. And Paul said he'd seen things when he was carried up to the third heaven that he couldn't describe. He struggled to put into words what he'd experienced.

I don't know if I can explain what he said, but I want to try. He had an awareness and was without emotion. He could see the people around him and knew what they were doing, but he had no emotion about it. He knew the body he saw them working on was where whatever he was now, had lived. He couldn't say he was a spirit or a soul, only that he was more himself than he'd ever known before. If he thought of someone, suddenly that person was beside him. But he had no emotion about it. The greatest feeling, if you want to call it that, was peace. Since he wasn't experiencing anything through his senses, it's hard to say the "feeling" was peace. He said it was just there--deep, profound, perfect peace. He had a great awareness of God and knew that without the emotions there was no punishment, no retribution (his words exactly). I asked him if he wanted to stay there and not come back, but he said "wanting" was an emotion and he had none of that. Even when he came back into his body, he just wondered why he had been one place and now was in another.

Listening to him describe his experience made me want to be there in that dimension, a dimension that he said is all around us. I want to go there because I long to not have to be buffeted by emotions. I want to go there because I want to live always in that perfect peace, and to not be constrained by time or age or tiredness. I'm not saying I want to go any time soon. I can deal with today and tomorrow and know "this, too, shall pass," but it's so wonderful to know what's awaiting us when that time comes.

This man said he had never been afraid to die, and I don't think I am either. Of course, no one wants to suffer pain before dying. As my husband says, "I don't mind being shot before I die. I just don't want to be wounded first."

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