The Rev. John Price is an Episcopal priest and one of my instructors in FIND (Formation in Direction, a course for prospective Spiritual Directors, like a Life Coach, only spiritual).My studies have taken me in new directions.
Anyway, Rev. Price had heard stories from people every now and then about how they had experienced death but came back to life–a near-death experience. A skeptic at first, he became more intrigued when a 4-year old described her experience even though there was no plausible reason for her to remember the hospital building where she had “died” as her mother drove past one day. So Rev. Price began listening to these stories with increasing interest, and seeking interviews with people of various faith traditions who had personal knowledge.
He wrote a book about it from the perspective of a priest. Revealing Heaven: The Eyewitness Accounts that Changed How a Pastor Thinks about the Afterlife describes stories from Hindus and Muslims as well as Christians.
There is so much we don’t understand, and so much to discover. I’ve come to believe God (defined for me as Love) is with us in joy, in sorrow, in contentment, in suffering, and in death. That makes me think about atheists. Who is with them? Some ideas floated to my head:
the will to live
the will to love
whatever they hold as sacred or ultimate
What do you think?
Kathleen, I’m sure you have read Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Nancy Evans Bush, and many other authors about near-death experiences. My friend of many years and my sister, among others, experienced that event. It’s hard for me to accept because those kinds of things just never happen to me, but they experienced several unusual occurrences besides the near-death one. I do believe it happens to some people — which is very hard, if not impossible, to explain. I was pleased that they felt comfortable in sharing these experiences with me — a known skeptic! Neither of them were “religious” in the usual sense of the word — they were not atheists, but they were “spiritual.” They did not seem to know what brought them back, but they could describe what they saw and felt. So, in answer to the question you pose, how, indeed, will we ever know “Who is with them?”
Carolyn Miracle Ross
I have tried to leave a comment but it has not posted, it just says “YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION.” What does that mean and how do I post my comment, other than click on “Post Comment” which is not working apparently.
Carolyn Miracle Ross
I have it set so that I have to “approve” messages–just to weed out spam. You should see your comment now. Thanks!
Thanks for writing. I haven’t read a great deal about this, but it is intriguing.