I was thinking about death today (my pastor passed away this morning) and it made me think about a near death experience that my father had a few years back. My father takes a number of medications for many medical problems. We are talking many pills per day. One day, and we can only guess this is how it happened, he must have forgotten he had already taken his morning meds and took them again. Within a short time my father started acting strangely and my mother called my sister (she's an RN ) who lives a couple of streets away. Good thing she called her before she called the ambulance, because, by the time my sister got there my Dad had stopped breathing. Julie resuscitated him before the EMT's came and then he was rushed to the hospital. While we were at the hospital, my father had another crisis. We were sent out of the room while the doctors and nurses worked on him. Thankfully, they revived him and a short while later we were allowed back in the room to see him. He quickly improved over the course of the day and after I left to go care for my family, he told my mom this story:
At a certain point while the doctors were working on him he was suddenly enveloped in a great peace that he had never before experienced. All pain left him. While in this peaceful state my father heard a beautiful male voice, filled with love, and this voice asked him one simple question, "Would you like to come home now, Sylvio?" My father instantly knew this was Jesus speaking to him and wanted to cry out with all his being, "Yes, Lord, please take me home!", but then he noticed my mom sobbing uncontrollably. He said to the Lord, "Ahh, Lord....look at her...I cannot leave her yet." After this my dad no longer heard the voice and was filled with pain again. What is so strange about this story is that my Dad could not possibly have "seen" my mother sobbing as we were not in the room when they were working on him and there was a wall between us and him...yet, "see" her he did. I can confirm what he saw and all I can think is that he had a near death experience. Jesus actually gave him a choice of whether to stay on this earth or "go home". For the sake of my Mom he chose to stay.
This experience has left my father with absolutely no fear of death. Actually, he's looking forward to that day when the Lord takes him "home" for good.