The radio blared the latest hit while Marsha lay on her back panting. Thank you Jesus, I never thought I could beat her. Seconds earlier she had crossed the finish line, a full stride ahead of her nearest competitor. Wow, the blood is pumping through my head, man that hurts. Then, without warning, an ice-pick-pain crossed in back of eyes and a veil of darkness covered her vision.
Somebody get that light out of my eyes. Bright lights blinded her when she suddenly became aware. Can’t anyone hear me? She tried to scream but the world was silent and her efforts did not intrude. Shadows passed the lights, I gotta get up and outa here. She wanted to get up and run – run like she had at the meet. But, something restrained her; try as she might she could not pull away. What’s this? She lowered her eyes, everything seemed in a fog.
Who’s there? A dark shadow appeared and held her chin. Then the shadow pushed her eyelid and brighter lights flashed in her eyes. Get that light out of my eyes. She wanted to scream again, but no sound came out.
Why can’t I scratch my nose? Her nose itched but she could not raise a hand to scratch; she tried to blow air upwardly but a tube in her mouth prevented any air flowing. She suddenly became aware of all of the tubes, everywhere.
A familiar face appeared over her. Mom! Help me mom. Her mother seemed to smooth Marsha’s hair, a hand passing before Marsha’s face.
Why mom? What’s happening? Why can’t I hear you? So many questions to ask but Marsha had trouble focusing on more than one thing.
Her mother stood, then another person in a white coat stood next to her mother and they seemed to be exchanging words. Are you talking about me? Talk to me. What’s going on? Then the person in the white coat left and Marsha once again began to concentrate on the white light above her.
Time passed, less important than it used to be, she had no clock, no measure of the minutes, hours, or weeks. Sheesh, I haven’t slept this much since whenever.
At some time she recognized the face of her associate pastor. Hey Jimmy, talk to me, it’s me Marsha. Then another time the senior pastor looked into her face. Reverend Samuels, finally someone with some sense, talk to me. Help me! It seemed to her that more strangers appeared before her than ever before. Various relatives also flashed before her, and then the parade slowed until it stopped. Why are all these people appearing before me, is this a dream?
When the parade of faces stopped she just thought about friends and relatives, about church and school, about her boyfriend Bob Bob, I’ll kill him when I get out of this; somehow this seems like one of his practical jokes. She thought about her job, trips to the grocery store, and her silly excursions to the mall. She thought about her little brother and what she could remember of her father – Cancer took him when she was very young. She recalled him telling her, “remember Jesus’ promise.” Mostly, she thought about God, and prayed that God would lead her out of whatever situation she was in. Oh, Jesus, maybe you can make me understand this. In her mind she began to sing, Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. The old children’s hymn eased her mind.
A familiar face flashed in her vision.Mom, am I glad to see you. Her mother appeared to hug Marsha.. Are those tears in your eyes? A man put his hand on her mother’s shoulder. Her mother kissed Marsha’s forehead then disappeared. Hey mister could you dim the light? The man in the white coat reached above her, and then he too departed. However, the lights began to dim.
She awoke suddenly on a grassy field surrounded by a mist. Standing in cooling air was Jesus, just the way she had pictured Him all of her life.
He reached out His hand. “Come to me child, for you are home.”
But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. PS 49:15 (KJV)
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