Death’s Door –
This poem and article is not about what you should believe, it is about what I believe. Some may feel uncomfortable with what I write, but others will recognize themselves in this story or my poem. This poem and story is about my journey to believe in God, a Christian God.
A little about myself and the church. I was not raised in a household that went to church, nor was I raised in a household that bashed the church.
I always believed in the existence of God and I am really not sure why that is other than at the time that I was growing up is when Christian values ruled the public school system. Local governments would have holiday themes around Christmas time in public buildings and being a Christian was associated being a good thing with good people. We said prayers in school right along with saying the pledge of allegiance to the American flag every morning. It was an innocent time when America realized that it was a country that was based on Christian principles and for the most part we as a society rejoiced in it.
This was a time before political correctness took hold in America and before we were offended by….. Just about everything.
When I was married my wife had a strong Lutheran background with her grandmother and I always admire her Christian faith. I was baptized in the Lutheran church when I became an adult more to please her than thinking I actually needed it. As my family grew, my family and I attended church regularly. I enjoyed hearing the songs and the get together afterwards with some of the locals. Going to church was more to me about friendship and doing things with the family than about believing in God.
As time went on in my life like everyone else I had my ups and downs. My wife and I divorced, and at the time the divorce was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to me. But through all the trial and tribulations of my life I never lost my belief in God, nor did I ever truly embrace the Christian faith.
Why I Believe!
Many years ago I became sick with pneumonia and was under a doctor’s care and taken antibiotics and doing the nebulizer treatments and what not. I was still working because I thought that was expected of me. For three months I was one very sick individual. During this whole time I was having difficulty breathing and my feet started to swell and it all came to a head on a day in the middle of February. My difficulty breathing changed to I couldn’t hardly breathe at all and a dear friend rushed me to the emergency room at Swedish Hospital in Englewood, Colorado.
The nurses rushed me in and I was scared, and I knew I was dying. It did not take more than a few minutes for the Doctor and nurses to realize I was having congestive heart failure. My life as I knew it was just about over and all the regrets of the things I should have done, and all the bad things that I had done in my life ran like a fast forward motion picture show in my mind. My biggest regret was that I felt I had not shown my kids how much I truly loved them.
As the nurses worked frantically for me trying to remove the fluid that was crushing my heart, I lay there watching their movements and waiting to die with regrets. But something happened at that moment.
God appeared to me. Not in any physical or mystical form, but he did appear. I was flooded with a sense that he was there in the room with me, I have never felt so at ease as I did at that moment with him there as the nurses were working so hard to save my life. I knew right then that everything was going to be okay, either through life or death I was going to be okay. He didn’t speak to me in a conversation but, I knew he had my back in life or death. I accepted him as my savior on that day in the emergency room. I felt as if I was in a never ending fog as my life in the ER hung on the edge between life and death. I wanted so much to live because my bucket list was not even close to being done, but also in my acceptance of the Lord I was also okay with death. It was a turning point in my life.
As I was in the hospital recovering I thought about this encounter numerous times and actually brought up the subject to an ex-girlfriend and lifetime friend Ronda. She explained to me that this was my Christian “Testimony”.
Excuse me Ronda if I don’t retell it as you so beautifully explained it to me. What she explained to me was that “Testimony” is the exact moment of clarity in your life that you as a human realize that God does exist. He will show himself to you in some form and you accept him as your savior. She went on to explain some people experience this as she had when she was a young child and others experience as I had as an adult. Some people may never experience this. It all fit, I knew he was real and from time to time checks in on me. Not long after this experience I wrote the poem below.
Since my “Testimony” I still try to live my life as a good person, I still do not attend church on a regular basis and I am loaded with numerous faults, I am human. I have also learned that life is precious, but is very short. I have also learned that God does exist and he is real and that I am thankful that I have found him.
I also want to add one thing for any atheist’s that do not believe, I know from my personal experience if you have time to reflect on your life while you are on your deathbed, you will want to believe in God and that he really is all forgiving and at any given moment you can accept him into your life.
Not long ago, tired and sick, I sat at Death’s door,
Looked to him wanting to believe there was more.
He answered my calling, a sense of relief,
Calm feeling, washed over me to ease my grief.
Feeling calmer, I knew it was going to be okay,
My heart, the Lord settled, forever and a day.
That day not long ago, Death took a step back,
As the Lord helped me get my life going on the right track.
Day, hour, the minute when I am back at Death’s Door,
No worry, for I now know there is something more.
Kurt James © 2016
Kurt James latest novel “Rocky Mountain Retribution ” now is available in print form or for Kindle on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Walmart and many other stores that carry the books you love to read.