A PEEK INTO THE AFTERLIFE
© Lester R. Kendall Jr. 2004
I was startled. Someone grabbed me from behind and picked me up. Finally I got loose and turned around to see Don. But where were his glasses? His glasses as I remembered were as thick as a coke bottle bottom. But there was no mistake. It was Don and he shouted, “I have been waiting for you!”
Then I woke up. My wife was here by me, and I could see our bedroom in the dim early morning light. Don had not crossed my mind for years. A flood of thoughts rushed over me as I wondered about the dream.
Don was one of the high school friends who shared my teenage years. He was a central part of the small band of youth who cared little for anything except having a good time. During the 60’s everything was disorderly. Not many boundaries had an effect on us. Almost 30 years were passed since I had seen him.
In the teenage years I suffered turmoil. My father and mother bore the brunt of my excesses. It’s a wonder they still love me. Through all of the problems, God dealt with me and my life finally turned around. I became a new person.
Joe was Don’s half brother. He was part of our home church. He and I talked with Don regularly. We shared the Word of God with him. My testimony was very evident to Don, since in years gone by we were partners in crime. Our time of witnessing drew out over a period of months. Finally one day Don told his brother that the following Sunday he would attend our meetings and give his life to Jesus. We were really happy.
The Saturday night before he was promised to attend our meeting, was Don’s 23rd birthday. He and some of the old group were planning to celebrate in a bar not more than 3 blocks away from where my wife Carla and I were living. Around closing Don and his friends pulled out onto the main street of town. A speeding car hit the van on the driver’s side where Don was sitting. All of the occupants were hospitalized. Don was in a deep comma with serious head trauma. He never arrived at the service Sunday morning.
We were broken when we found out. How could this have happened, the night before he was to come to the Lord? I was not about to accept this. Among Christian friends we began to pray. What were we going to do?
Two of us came up with a plan.
We knew he was in
When we arrived at Herman, the doors were shut and nearly 20 people were outside the room. They told us that the guard would let nobody in. I began to pray as we knocked on the door. A nurse came to the door and peeked through. I told her, “Don was supposed to come to church today and give his life to Jesus but never made it. Now he is in there dying, you must let us in to pray with him.”
She looked at us with a startled expression and opened the door immediately. We walked in. Without any spoken plan of action, my prayer partner huddled with the nurses sharing about the love of Jesus and prayed with them for strength in their stressful situation. I went directly to Don’s bed. His head was badly bruised, and swollen. His body was in perpetual motion. He was in a state of constant convulsion. It seemed he was in torment. Even though his brain was not working, his spirit was in there. I laid my hand on him and began to speak.
“Don, I am here now. You never made it to church, but Jesus is with now.” With those words his body stopped moving. His breathing slowed as God’s peace swept over the room. “Don, I am here to tell you Jesus loves you and wants to forgive you of your sin. He has sent me to speak for him. Pray with me. I know you can hear me. Pray, Father, I am sorry for all the sin I committed against you. I am sorry for all the people I hurt during my life. Forgive me and accept me into your family.” Then I laid my hand on his chest and began to intercede for him. “Father touch Don. You heard his prayer, and I know you were just waiting to hear him say those words. Accept him into the family. Also Father heal him. I want to enjoy sharing Jesus’ love with him. In Jesus Name I pray.”
I opened my eyes and saw great pools of tears welling up in his eyes. He lay there peaceful and the tears ran over and down his face on both sides. I knew he had heard. The peace of God had fallen in the intensive care unit.
I walked over where my companion was talking with the nurses. He wanted to go pray for Don also. I shared a testimony of God’s great love with those ladies. As I did so my partner prayed with Don in the same way I did. We had not planned this but God had led us in the same way. When we finished we knew that Don had been forgiven, and was in God’s hands.
His body never again was tormented with convulsions. His peaceful countenance was evident to the nurses. His mother was in the room the last moments of his life. He opened his eyes, recognized his mother for a moment, he gave her hand a squeeze and his spirit left his body. That was near the end of 1976. That was the last time I had seen Don until this morning. The dream was so real.
As I thought about all this, memory of the dream began to open up to me again. I remember where I was in the dream. I was distracted, extremely distracted. In the dream I was standing there with my mouth open looking at the glory of God in heaven. How long I had been standing there transfixed I do not know. Then came the hug from behind. “Lester, I have been waiting for you. I have been here waiting for you.” Behind him were thousands of people waiting to greet me. People I had forgotten about. “Don, you don’t need glasses any more!”