The Gift :: By Ed Wood
If you have visited here before, you may recognize the name. I had a brief spurt of activity where I had written here extensively. In the following years, the creative well has unfortunately pretty much dried up, much to my chagrin.
I return now to tell you an unusual story. The fact that I’m telling it is even more unusual, considering my past reticence to disclose much of myself to anyone.
Probably best to start with some background material.
I am presently 70 years old. My childhood was turbulent, the details of which are really not that important. Suffice it to say it played a big part in the man I would become. About 20 years ago, I was betrayed by a very close friend and her family. That essentially closed the door toward my ever allowing anyone to get “too close” from then on.
The only exception was my mother. Last year, after being essentially housebound for a considerable time, her health deteriorated, and she died at the age of 92. It was a painful death which concluded a lifetime of disappointment and hardship. That even her departure was an ordeal struck me as totally unfair.
Seven years ago, I myself nearly died of Stage 4 heart failure. My prime motivation to recover was to be around for Mom, which I thankfully accomplished at a level that could be easily considered miraculous.
Life went on after Mom’s passing.
Back on June 1st of this year (2023), I was at the gym, stepping off of an elliptical machine…. My next memory is that of waking up in the hospital, getting ready to come home two days later. Memory was tenuous for a few more days but has rapidly improved since then, as I write this about two weeks later.
And now on to the real miracle, or perhaps better expressed as a series of them. Based on what I’ve since been told, it took eight “hits” with a defib to get my heart restarted, during which time I was dead for… 10 minutes! This I just learned from my primary care physician. That I have no significant impairment, either mental or physical (besides some broken ribs), takes my story beyond the realm of science. My medical people are, quite frankly, amazed at my recovery so far – something I was told usually takes months! So am I!
As amazing as that is, it pales in comparison to what I’m about to tell you next. When I collapsed, many people at the gym whom I only knew casually have since stepped up and gone far above and beyond to help someone who was, before this, pretty much a stranger. In fact, some were directly responsible for keeping me from being a statistic.
Yet, as remarkable as this outpouring of compassion and love has been, there has been a marked change in myself – the ability to accept all of this wholeheartedly (sorry, pun unintended). This was totally unthinkable before, and I consider this change the biggest miracle of all!
I must confess that I regret that I don’t remember what happened while I was “gone,” but considering my lack of memory of even Earth events in the days which followed, it is not a surprise. My cardiologist has said that it may resolve itself as time goes by. It will certainly be amazing if it does.
Terry James has spoken of his experiences following a massive heart attack and even wrote an excellent book about it called Heaven Vision, which you should get for yourself if you haven’t already. One of the “gym people” has had an “after-death” experience, and he and his wonderful wife have since taken me under their wings – another miracle!
Another result of this has been some very interesting conversations about my own faith and interest in Bible Prophecy, the opportunity for which hadn’t existed before. I have found all those new friends in my life very accepting. Maybe they figure that I have some inside track, having been dead for 10 minutes. I don’t think I have, at least not on a conscious level. All things said and done, I am convinced that God brought me back for a reason, or maybe even several. Maybe this is part of it.
I think another was so I could experience a peace that I have never known and a release from a long-smoldering anger that circumstances have made part of my life for as long as I remember – something only now made clear by its absence.
However much time is left to me, whatever I have left to accomplish is something I believe the coming days will reveal. I thank our gracious God for taking me down a path
I have never would tread otherwise – and I can hardly wait to see what’s next!!
May the Lord bless and keep you all!