Sunday, April 13

A Touching Story

When I've read this article, I know I just have to post this in my blog. It's really a touching story involving a near-death experience, of giving time to our precious kids, that we all have a mission in this life and that indeed, there's life after death with our Creator.

God’s message to my patient
Tuesday, April 8, 2008- Philippine Star

As a doctor, you never know who will come next to your clinic. Each patient has a unique story to tell and I take the time to get to know the person well. And so, when Joaquin came to my office some time ago, I wasn’t quite ready for what I was about to hear.

Joaquin said he came for a checkup because his heart had stopped.
“Uh, what do you mean ‘stopped’?” I inquired.

He explained,“I underwent a routine gallbladder operation and my doctors said that my blood pressure suddenly dropped for unknown reasons. I died and was clinically dead for a few minutes before my doctors revived me.”

“Ooohh, another near-death experience,” I thought to myself as I recalled other patients I’ve seen with near-death experiences or so-called NDEs.

Before I became a doctor, I had read voraciously on the subject, starting with the seminal book by Dr. Raymond Moody in the ’70s, to several New Age books in the ’80s, up to the definitive near-death experience by best-selling author Betty J. Eadie in the ’90s.

As the first one to popularize NDE, Dr. Moody had interviewed hundreds of patients who died but were revived. Curiously, the events are similar: First, it’s dying and leaving the physical body. Then you may spend some time hovering over your body, watching the doctors frantically work on you. Next, you find yourself being drawn into a long dark tunnel, moving at high speed. You hear a rushing sound and after some time, you see a glimmering light at the end of the tunnel. You move closer to the light, and it becomes brighter and brighter. The light warms you, soothes you, and comforts you unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. And suddenly, you are with a great being of light. You are overwhelmed and then you know you are in the presence of God.

“You know, Doc, it’s very confusing for me,” Joaquin interrupted my thoughts. “I still don’t know what to make of it. You see, during the operation, I knew something was wrong. Then I felt I had left my body and went through a dark place, like a tunnel. And then, I met this being. He was shining..,” Joaquin paused.

“So, who was he?” I asked as I sat at the edge of my seat.

“I don’t know who he was. I’m not a religious person, but he was a being of light and he was very kind and loving. What I do know is that this person told me that my death was premature. That it was not my time yet to die. He said I had a mission to fulfill in this life.”

Joaquin’s voice raised a pitch as he continued, “So, I asked this being what kind of mission I could possibly have. I had been an ordinary hotel waiter on Roxas Boulevard for 20 years. I could barely support my wife and kids. At 46 years old and just a high school graduate, there was no hope I could ever find a better job. My work did not exactly qualify as the ‘world-saving’ type.”

From his words, I gathered that Joaquin, like so many others with NDE, had wanted to be with this being of light in that heavenly place. He could not see the meaning of his apparently meaningless existence.

Then, the being of light revealed to Joaquin his true purpose: Your mission on earth is to take care of your two children, to raise them, and be a good father to them.”

Joaquin’s words struck me like a bolt of lightning. Here I was, a doctor, sometimes wondering about my existence, about my purpose in life. And I was suddenly aware of my own guilt of not giving enough time to the most important persons in my life, my two daughters.

Joaquin’s revelation almost made me cry. Here was the Supreme Being not asking for earth-shattering discoveries or sacrifices, but to simply care for your children, like the loving Father that He is.

An hour had passed and my other patients were frantic and couldn’t wait. God’s message doesn’t come too often. I told Joaquin that I would like to help him in his mission. And since I knew he was hard up, I said I promised to treat him and his family for free as long as he needed me.

Joaquin smiled, but his mind was in another world. He wasn’t listening to me because he asked how much my fee was. “No, no, nothing,” I stammered, “You have paid me already. You have paid me more than you can imagine.”

Joaquin’s experience echoes the messages of inspirational books, both old and new: No matter how ordinary your job is, there is a God-given purpose for your work and you must do it well.

Spend time to improve family relationships, especially with your parents, children, and relatives. Loving the family and healing broken relationships are part of our purpose in this life.

Have faith. A big kind of faith. No matter how bad our situation may look like, there is always reason to hope. As Joaquin found out, God is constantly working in ways we can’t see. He’s in control and His immense love and compassion will see us through.


Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Wenchie. Thank you for sharing this touching story. It's a wonderful reminder of how much we should treasure the time in our hands and spend it with the people we love.

Gina said...

Just the story I need in this time of grief for our family with the death of my sister in law. It is comforting to be reminded again that there is life after death. That after the soul leaves its shell, it goes to that beautiful and peaceful place with 'the light'. I know that my sister in-law is there now.

rowena said...

Hi Rach, I really wanted to share this post because it also touched me and got me into thinking, truly, we should not waste time in this journey and share it with our precious loved ones. Glad you also liked it.

Hi Gina, my condolences. I'm also mourning on the death of my fave uncle, who died a day before my b-day last March. Like you, I find comfort with the thought that he's now at peace with our Creator. I will include your sister in law in my prayers. I'm sure she's at peace now with our Lord.

Gypsy said...

Isn't it so like God to be counter-culture. Here we are thinking what kind of superhero type mission He would ask Joaquin to go into, only to find out it was a simple one that is just as great as "saving the world." Thanks for sharing. :)

rowena said...

Hi Gypsy, yeah I was also thinking something not so ordinary, though taking care/ rearing of kids is already a great achievement for a parent, I believe that's one of my missions, too so with all the parents. Glad you liked this post.

lady cess said...

wow, this is so touching. and inspiring. and encouraging :)

rowena said...

Hi Cess, yeah you're right...kaya tayong mga Mommies that's one of our missions in life di ba...

julie said...

Wenchie,this is so touching.The simple ways are the ones which bring more joy to people's lives.

Have a great week!

greymom said...

Very touching. Thanks for sharing. Teary eyed na naman beauty koh. :(