Near Death Experience

No, I haven’t had one, but a good friend of mine used to work with a doctor that did a tremendous amount of research into NDE’s of children, and the books he wrote based on many interviews with these kids are fascinating. Dr. Mevin Morse’s web site outlines his work, and though it’s been years since I read Parting Visions, I remember it made a strong impression on me. This morning I’m not so interested in the specifics of Morse’s research and conclusions as I am the overall reaction of people to their near-death experiences.

Many adults, after an NDE, change their lives. Many of them feel as if they’ve been given a new opportunity, a new chance to live on the basis of an understanding of life and death firmly rooted in what they experienced when they “died.”

Here’s my Easter Season question: what’s it like, now that Resurrection’s here? The new lease on life, the new understanding that everything’s different? How are we living out this new knowledge that life isn’t what we thought it was? To have stood on the brink of death, and now there’s life unexpected. Are the tastes sharper, the sounds clearer, the beauties of Spring more nuanced and forceful? Are the people we love more precious than ever, each moment filled with cherished understanding of their immensity, their preciousness, their image-of-God-ness? What about the dollar? How is it changed? There’s need for it as always, but can a moment of God be bought? A moment of love? A moment of self-sacrifice that is freedom?

For someone who’s experienced an NDE, death came and backed off. Whatever we think of the science of it, or the reality of the white light and all that, the point is that they have experienced something that radically alters understanding of who and what humans beings are, and what life is.

Which is exactly what the Resurrection of Jesus does as well.

I’m going to try and live the day just like that. Just today. Maybe I’ll end up my old slogging self by nightfall, but why not imagine there’s a new lease on life because death has been averted and beaten, and God is up to something in our lives?

He who loses his life will find it…

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