My Near-Death Experience
By John Helms
It was the summer of 1969 on a hot August night about 11:00 pm and I was out cruising
in my '69 V.W. Beetle down highway 51 just south of the Tennessee-Mississippi state
line. I had just bought a boss chrome, eight-track Leer tape deck that day, and was
listening to Cream's new song, "Born under a bad sign", cranked up loud so I could
get the most out of my box speakers mounted over the rear seat. All of the sudden
I had the strangest vision in my head that I was locked into a head-on collision
and there wasn't any way that I could avoid it. My stomach felt kind of queasy and
I started to get scared.
Just then, a car came out of nowhere going at least 100 m.p.h. As he tried to turn
the curve in the road, the left side of the car lifted off the road because it was
going so fast. When it came back down, the car was headed straight for me! All I
had time to do was to turn my steering wheel sharply to the right in order not to
take a direct head-on hit. Then the car hit me with tremendous force and a loud "BOOM"
and my car spun around several times like a child's toy top. I knew that this was
the end of my life.
When my car stopped spinning, I was experiencing a great deal of pain and the first
thing I did was to feel my arms and body to see if I was dismembered. After I did
that, I looked down at my left leg and saw that it was bent at a left angle like
a backwards "L". I wasn't as worried about my leg as I was the pain I was experiencing
inside my body. I knew that all my ribs were crushed on my left side, and I was afraid
that they were puncturing my lungs, since I could hardly breathe, but luckily I wasn't
bleeding from my mouth.
I looked out my window a Highway Patrol car came flying past me with his lights and
siren on. He was chasing the drunk driver who had just hit me. I waved my arm at
him for help, but I guess he didn't see me me waiving or else he wanted to catch
the drunk who had just hit me. I didn't want to die sitting in my car, besides I
thought it might catch on fire. With this thought, I felt an adrenaline rush and
I managed to push open my caved-in door and drug myself out of my car and onto the
street on my belly about 10 feet away from my car and rolled over on my back.
This photo of my poor Beetle is from a Polaroid
picture my insurance man took at the salvage yard.
I looked back at my car and and parts of it were strewn down the street. I then looked
up to the stars and told God that if He wanted to take me now that I was ready. Shortly
a crowd of people came out of nowhere and huddled around me. I heard somebody tell
the crowd to stand back so I could get some air. Everybody was making negative comments
that I wasn't going to make it. I was in incredible pain and in shock also. Suddenly,
all the pain from my neck down was shut off like a light switch. Then I saw a tunnel
of white light - I felt my spirit leaving my body and I started to ascend upward
into this tunnel of light at a very fast speed. I was dying! My mind was totally
focused on this and nothing else. I wasn't conscious of the crowd standing around
me, of my physical body, or anything going on around me.
I rose up the white tunnel of light faster and faster and higher and higher until
I was miles above the stars. Then I came to a stop and felt myself engulfed in an
overpowering "unconditional love", the likes of which I have never experienced in
my life - I was at complete peace. The Bible describes God's peace "a peace which
passeth all understanding". Complete peace, tranquility and harmony. It was what
I always thought heaven would be like, except it was better and much more beautiful.
Everything made complete sense to me. My mind was at one with God's mind and I was
at one with God and the whole universe. A mere thought and you were immediately transported
there! I felt I was in the presence Jesus and He said," Come on John, come go with
me-I want to show you something". As soon as he said that, we were hovering over
a beautiful white, christen beach along side an ocean or a large body of water that
was a pretty shade of blue-green. And as if I was on a camera boom doing a movie,
I came to a close-up of the sand. Then Jesus picked up a handful of sand showed it
to me and said," look at this sand, John" as he let it slowly run out of his hand
until only one grain of sand was left in the palm of his hand. He said," do you see
this single grain of sand, John?" I replied, "yes Lord". Jesus continued, "Every
crises and traumatic experience that you have or will ever experience in your whole
life on earth is as small and insignificant as this one little grain of sand that
I hold here in the palm of my hand as compared to the glory and joy which awaits
you here in Heaven. No more worries, no more sorrow, no more heartache or loneliness,
no more pain, no more physical disabilities, no more disease or illness -all that
will be left on earth." I then laughed to myself at all the things that I was so
worried about. I felt as though I was going to explode with joy-that I couldn't take
being in the presence of almighty God any longer-of the awesome power and glory of
God's infinite love and mercy!
Just then I felt myself ascending even higher in the heavens in the tunnel of light.
All of the sudden I stopped and a huge hand slowly came out of the tunnel of light
with the palm of his hand facing me and said," no John, I'm not ready for you yet."
I said," please God, I don't want to go back". As soon as I said that I felt my spirit
descending as quickly as I ascended, and felt my spirit come back into my body and
then I felt the pain come back and I saw the people all standing around me and a
preacher was bending over me and was saying words to try and save my soul from going
to hell. I told him that I was already a Christian and that I wasn't going to die,
although he and everyone else was quite convinced that I was. About that time the
paramedics finally came on the scene and loaded me onto a stretcher and into the
"meat wagon" and I was off to the Baptist Hospital.
All of the doctors who helped with my surgery told me that I shouldn't have lived
through my accident and that it was a miracle that I was still alive. I know God
saved me for a special purpose in this life and I know that I am accountable to Him
for what I do with it. I have gone through many difficult times since my "near death
experience"-times when there didn't seem to be any hope left - I just wanted to give
up on life and call it quits, but I always think back on my "NDE" and it reminds
me that there really is a God in Heaven, because I met Him in a very personal and
dramatic way. I know that what I experienced was real, even though other Christians
think I'm nuts when I share my testimony with them. I also know that He does love
me, even when I think He doesn't and everyone else has deserted me, I know that He
is there for me. This gives me hope to go on when life seems hopeless and something
to look forward to after my life on earth is over. I know without a doubt that there
really is a Heaven because I've been there.
One thing my NDE has taught me is to be kind and compassionate to people less fortunate
than myself and to people in general - to be more giving of my time to people who
really need a friend - when other people ignore or shun them, like an old lady who
used to live behind me was lonely and needed someone just to talk to. She really
appreciated me taking the time to visit her-same with a little crippled man I've
known for years. He has no friends and lays alone in his bed in a nursing home- all
he does is watch TV and sleep and eat - he doesn't have any friends, except for me,
I guess, and when I go to visit him or buy some things he needs, he really appreciates
it and especially the time I spend with him. I don't have much financially speaking,
but I've found out that rich people as well as poor people want someone to spend
time with them-seems like people are lonely these days and need time spent with other
God also showed me that this time that we have here on earth, which is only a blink
of an eye, is a test to see where we fit in, in eternity-in heaven or in hell.....What
we do with our life and how we conduct ourselves is his test for each person on earth
-to love one another as He loves us, and things that we don't understand - we won't
have the answer to until we get to heaven. I'm a Christian, but I learned a lot about
"unconditional love" from my mentally ill friend's Jewish father and his family.
They totally accept Marty and his mental condition and all the negative things that
go with it, and are there for him in bad times as well as the good times. I wish
I had had that kind of love from my dad when I was growing up.
Death is only a "transition" to an eternal life with God if we only sincerely repent
of our sins and accept Him our personal saviour and believe that His son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross to atone for our sins, we become spiritually “born again.” If you
are going through difficult times or have doubts about God's promises and what the
Bible says, just put your faith and trust in the Lord like a little child and pray
to him for help and guidance even though nothing makes any sense now- then just take
it one day at a time. I hope my real-life testimony has helped you in some way. You
know, Jesus didn't tell us that this life was going to be easy, but we can persevere
with his help and by his grace if we place our faith and trust in Him.
A verse to live by:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In
all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths."
If you have any doubts about Jesus’ love for you or your salvation, please rent Mel
The Passion Of The Christ.