Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Descent Into Death

By Howard Storm

“I was frightened, exhausted, cold, and lost. It was clear that the help that these terrible beings had first promised was just a ruse to trick me into following them. I was reluctant to go farther, but any hesitation on my part brought abuse and insults. They told me we were almost there, to shut up and take a few more steps.

A few of the voices attempted a conciliatory tone that amused the others. Among themselves the mood was one of excitement and triumph.

For a long time I had been walking with my gaze down to watch my step. When I looked around I was horrified to discover that we were in complete darkness. The hopelessness of my situation overwhelmed me. I told them I would go no farther, to leave me alone, and that they were liars. I could feel their breath on me as they shouted and snarled insults. Then they began to push and shove me about. I began to fight back. A wild frenzy of taunting, screaming, and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. As I swung and kicked at them, they bit and tore back at me. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun. Even though I couldn’t see anything in the darkness, I was aware that there were dozens or hundreds of them all around me and over me. My attempts to fight back only provoked greater merriment. As I continued to defend myself, I was aware that they weren’t in any hurry to annihilate me. They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophonous laughter. They began to tear pieces off of my flesh. To my horror, I realized that I was being taken apart and eaten alive, methodically, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long as possible.

These creatures had once been human beings.” 

When I read the rest of the telling of Howard Storm’s story, the above exchange was a hard one to put away. In fact, it has never really left me since I read the account of his trip through death and back some months ago. The very hard thing to accept was that not only were the creatures who were torturing him now some form of demonized humans who, like himself, had found themselves cast into the outer darkness once they had died... but they were his own people. They were people from his own family, some of which he had known and who were sent forward into the dark at the time of his death to retrieve him and bring him to his final destination.

In a complete reversal of the book “Heaven is for Real”, the story of a trip through what happens when someone dies, related by young Colton Burpo; My Descent Into Death is very much a dark an unflinching re-telling of the trip into the death of an adult atheist who was given a second chance to come back and tell his story.  So while one may look with mild curiosity at the story of a small, 3 year old boy, it is much more difficult to ignore a college professor who always thought that those who wanted to believe in God were just suckers who deserved whatever they got in life.

Howard Storm found himself at the height of his career, the summit of his human power, with all the answers. He had fought the good fight, he had never broken the law of man to achieve it either. Nope, he had simply taken what worked in the reality of man’s existence and laid out his success accordingly. Then suddenly he found himself far from home and deathly ill. One day he was standing on the mountain, the next he was flat on his back bleeding to death internally with no hope coming from the medical community around him.

Having died in his Paris hospital bed, he suddenly found himself standing there staring down at himself, feeling completely disconnected from the flesh and bone before him. As he says, the body in the bed seemed like some other thing, some other object and not really himself. Next to his bed his wife silently sat, her face etched in quiet disbelief and sadness. Before he knew it, there was a doorway with voices from far away calling to him to join them. It was another world, another existence, which as an atheist he had always denied even existed. There would be no arguments, no parrying back and forth about what may or may not be true, or the scholarly interpretation of facts and imaginings. The grey area he had once lived in was now overwhelmingly black. That blackness was beyond debate.

I’ve read a lot of the atheist manifesto about what they believe in reference to God and the Bible and even Angles and their existence.  It’s really something the extent to which they will go to explain how something like Angles don’t really exist and how Satan was just a created concept out of ancient beliefs to only symbolize other created concepts and so on and so on. And I know in my own heart, that it takes a mighty ego to push aside the FACT that the Bible was written over 1500 years by different authors who all ended up composing the same story from beginning to end, or the FACT that Israel as a nation was scattered over the world for hundreds of years and yet remained a nation, or the FACT that millions and millions of people down throughout history have not only KNOWN God personally, but have changed the world with their lives because of him. It takes a big, big ego to see all that and yet say man only believes in God because his mind is not yet evolved beyond a need for there to be a God.

Here, Howard Storm finds himself actually dead, a devout atheist, and even in the throws of vicious attack by those who would probably lead him into an eternal sadistic torturing, he is admonished to pray to God. Finding his situation beyond his ability to argue it away, or even deny it even exists... he is left with no choice but to pray. And pray he does, to his best ability. Nothing he has worked for here on Earth is available to him once he has passed on. No logic. No education. No empathetic reasoning. Only an appeal to God. A God he strove to dismiss all of his life.

Given this chance, the reality of this spiritual existence, formally unseen, spreads wide the gap between what he was sure he knew about the stark reality of man’s existence and the inevitable final end he was now being inexorably drawn into. Retrieved by Angels who don’t exist and being guided by a loving savior, Christ himself, who takes him on a journey through this spiritual world which includes a trip to the Holocaust, Storm’s concept of reality is forever shaken to its roots. Brought back from this journey, and now living with us today, I know it must be difficult to understand how atheists think and feel about God, Jesus (Yashua) and Angelic existence and realize that he was once one of those who spat on the love and immense care that God has for each individual born into the flesh upon Earth.

The lessons he learned from his ordeal and the message he has today for each of us still living in that “grey area” are paramount in their implications regarding how we are to live here in this life and the decisions we make concerning our eternal existence. What does God care about? He cares about people. He cares about you and me. Keep in mind that the risen Christ is risen as an intricate part and at the same time a wholeness of the Godhead who also still retains his human form in which he became a unique creation in the universe. He is people, too. He also understands wholly who and what we are as people, this focus on the hearts of mankind over the immense, incredibly diverse universe, should make everyone hold their collective breath when attempting to “figure out” God.

I could say more, but one needs to read Howard Storm’s book for themselves. And, I certainly hope that when you finally leave this mortal coil, that you will meet your long passed relatives along a beautiful river surrounded by trees whose colors you have never seen, on your way to a party that will never end; and you will not meet them in the tragic way described in this book.

Yashua, the sacred name.   

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