When studying Journalism one maxim that floats to the surface quite quickly is the injunction to, “Never Bury the Lead.” As such the lead in this series is;
“For three to four minutes I was dead.”
Even now a week later typing out those words strike me as spooky and surreal at the same time.
The surgery to repair my genetically deformed heart valve problems was a success. However, upon the return from surgery to post-op the still completely unexplained happened. The methodology in this procedure is to create a electrical circuit to help the heart beat after it has been un-naturally handled. In the creation of this electrical circuit three small posts are placed in the body to close the circuit and drive the beating of the heart. Somewhere between the operating room and the post-op room one of those electrical posts was no longer doing its job and for some reason that post could not be found in order to be re-established. The missing post meant that my heart would not beat. A code was called. Th code itself lasted approximately 10 minutes. During part of that time the missing electrical post was being furiously sought for so as to re-establish the closed circuit that would drive the beating of my heart. Bandages were ripped off rather unceremoniously (I have the burn scars on my skin where those bandages were ripped off). Finally, in what I can only imagine might have been a scene out of an old silent film where the keystone cops finally shout “Eureka” a very attentive someone finally solved “The Case of the Missing electrical circuit” and my heart went back “online.”
There is some question why it took so long to find the electrical lead since the first instinct should have been to look for the second lead and check it. When pressed as to what precisely happened the answer we were met with was “sometimes these things happen.” Well, sure, all kinds of things sometime happen but that is hardly an answer to a legitimate question. Why did that which sometimes happen, happen in this instance? Or, to cut to the chase, “What went wrong.”
While all that was going on however standard heart compressions were pursued on my now non-living corpse. Keep in mind that heart compressions were being done on a chest that had only very recently been stitched and wired back together after being opened in order operate on the aortic heart valve. During this time, I, of course am completely unconscious (dead people don’t write memoirs) and also my family were not being updated as to the occurrence of any of this. Jane was not (and still is not) pleased at the lack of being updated. Humorously enough, later, one of the Nurse Practitioners, obviously not knowing that my wife was a retired nurse or that my sister is also a Nurse Practitioner of some 40 years, told them that when my heart beat was gone that, “We patted his chest. Pat, pat pat.” Now, my friends, the blood does not perfuse the body’s organs by doing a chest compression that is characterized as “Pat, pat pat,” as if a patty-cake game is being played. Indeed, it is not uncommon to break ribs while doing heart compressions. But, I get that the impulse likely is to give the family as little startling information as possible, even if that means soft-selling the truth.
There was concern that the lack of perfusion of the organs with oxygen may have affected the brain and so when coming to, after my few hours on the ventilator I was getting peppered with questions,
1.) What is the date today?
2.) What day is it?
3.) Can you tell me the name of your surgeon?
4.) What is a woman?
I thought it was just a part of protocol but later I learned that they were probing as to whether or not I had become half a cucumber (vegetable). That question has not yet been completely resolved and I suspect I will someday die with people unsure whether or not I am some kind of vegetable.
Now as to what I saw while dead, well, its hard to explain. I did find myself being drawn towards a light, ever beckoning me forth to find out what the source of the light was. As I neared the source I heard Words coming out of the center of the light. At first those words were unintelligible. They were coming to me as if they were some kind of hieroglyphic, but eventually I was given ability to interpret those words.
And this was some of what I heard. I don’t remember it all. I heard,
1.) Kinism is my social order designate
2.) I am pleased with postmillennialism
3.) It is either my law (Theonomy) or some other god’s law
4.) I intend to treat Escondido as I once treated Sodom
5.) R2K, FV, Dispensationalism, NPP, are the doctrines of devils
6.) The Synagogue of Satan is alive and well. Oppose them.
7.) Do not concern yourself with those who are forever saying, “Christo-fascism”, “Racism” and “Sexism.” I will take care of them soon enough
There was much more like this. Some of it is still coming back to me. But the words out of the light were distinct and the above is some of what I heard.
While experiencing this, I saw Tim Keller to my right. In one of God’s ironies Keller and McAtee both died on the same day. I heard some muted conversation from the light and finally in a boisterous communication I heard, “We have some things to say to Keller but McAtee goes back. Somebody has to clean up the mess that Keller left behind.” That is the last thing I remember, though, as I said, some of those words from the light are still trickling back to my consciousness and there may be yet more to report in the future. Extra-Biblical revelation is a grand thing and only entrusted to a very few of us.
Keep in mind that for all believer we are told in Colossians 3:3 that for all believers it is the case;
3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Now, this death that St. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit speaks of here is the death that all believers in Christ experience who are united to Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit. This death is the death of who we were as we were as objectively counted by God as related to our first father Adam. With our looking to Christ as our salvation, that old man dies and who we are now in our living and someday our physical dying is a living and dying that is done as unto Jesus Christ. In dying to the old self we died to living with ourselves at the center of all reality. We died to living only for our selfish glory. We died to self-will, self-aggrandizement, and self-pleading. We died to all these matters of the old self and now God owns us and names us as His own because our lives are now hidden with Christ. When the Father considers, He only sees Christ, because having died to self, our lives are now hidden with Christ in God. All the guilt that is so definitional of who man is, as outside of Christ, is done way, because we are hidden in Christ and His righteousness … His acceptability is now our righteousness and our acceptability. Because of having died with Christ in this sense and because my life is now hidden in Christ, the sting of my future permanent physical death has lost much of its bite. The matter of my living or dying is a matter for me no longer to obsess over because my life continues after this life because I died and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Dear reader. Do not let this day pass without knowing that your life is hidden with Christ in God so that when the day comes of your departure you will be able to say with me and all the saints through all the ages;
“O Death where is thy sting.
O grave where is thy victory.”
Note — This article may be slightly updated in the future to get some of the matters regarding cardio-technology more accurate.
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