How It All Began
I was working for the Georgia Department of Corrections in 1982 as a Correctional Officer. I worked a constant seven day shift rotation and this week was on the 12:00am to 8:00am shift. It was in December on a cold brisk morning that I punched my time card and headed for home. I was looking forward to this morning, as I had planned a hunting trip on the ninety eight acre farm, bordering the Chattahoochee River, my family and I lived on.
I arrived home and gathered my gear trying to get as early a start as I could. My wife had already left for work as most people do who have normal working hours. I usually called her when I was going hunting, but being in a hurry on this particular morning I didn’t. I had about a two mile hike to my tree stand and arrived there around 10:15am.
My stand was about 20 feet high on the front side facing a thick patch of pines. The back side faced the river below and dropped off to huge boulders in the river below. I tied off my rifle to be pulled up after my climb to the top and began my upward ascent. I reached the top and positioned myself to pull my rifle up. Then without warning I heard a snap!
I would later return to this site many times to reflect on my life. On one visit with a friend I measured the distance from the top of the stand down to the boulder I landed on. Eighty feet! As I began my fall to the river below I could see the river coming up fast. I knew this was the end for me and although it was just seconds before impact, it was as though I was in slow motion!
So many thoughts raced through my mind. My wife, my daughter, my family, and no one knows where I am! Would I ever be found? Then, darkness! How long this darkness lasted I don’t know. Then something wonderful happened! I felt myself leaving my body! I was floating a few feet in the air above the river! I looked on my body with mixed feelings. I was bleeding from my mouth, nose, ears, and saw a trickle of blood underneath me on the boulder.
As I was reflecting on the state of my body I felt a pulling and began to rise very fast! I was traveling at a high rate of speed upwards through the atmosphere! As I left the atmosphere I looked back and could see the earth! Such a beautiful sight! It was so brilliantly lit! As I looked ahead I could see the planets! I thought to myself this cannot be! Where is Jesus? I was never told anything like this could or would happen when I died! Faster, and faster the speed was increasing!
I saw other star systems and galaxies as I raced onward! I entered what seemed to be a hole of some sort! It was long and dark. However around me I saw streaks of light made up of every color in the spectrum! I saw a faint light growing brighter and brighter in the distance up ahead. As I entered the light I felt it all through my being. I was not afraid anymore! Then all of a sudden I was standing before a massive set of steps! They led up to what seemed to be a bridge or walk of some kind.
In the distance I saw a sight so magnificent and astounding! A city made up of what seemed to be glass or crystal. The lights were of many colors that radiated from it. Never have I seen such a sight! I began walking toward the city in a daze of unbelief! So many questions raced through my mind. I had to know where I was. What was happening to me? I reached the front of the city and saw a double door that looked to be about thirty feet or so in height and width! It shined as if it was polished! As I stood there wandering the doors began to open. I took a step back and looked inside. I could see what appeared to be people walking about on the inside, much like they do in a mall here on earth. These people though were dressed very different! For one thing they all seemed to be dressed in some sort of robes with hoods! I entered through the doors in amazement at what I was seeing! The inside was massive! It seemed to be square in shape, with a balcony all around that led down to different levels! I walked up and looked downward over the balcony. It seemed to go on forever!
As I looked up, I saw many passing by me, yet no one seemed to notice me! Then as one was approaching me he suddenly stopped! He slowly raised his head and I could see his face! He appeared to be human form in every respect but one! His eyes! No pupils! Yet they seemed to change colors in shades of blue! His hair was snow white! I wanted to speak but before I could he turned and pointed to a long hallway! Though we never spoke I knew I was to go down this hallway.
Then as if nothing had ever happened, he continued on. I knew I had to as well. Something beckoning me forward. I walked a long walk down to the end of this hallway. I did not turn to the right or the left. I knew somehow that my questions were about to be answered! Again I saw before me a massive double door. It seemed to be of some type of metal whether gold or not I could not tell. Suddenly the doors opened! I heard a voice though not as we speak, but from inside of me it seemed, say enter!
I did as I was told and the doors shut suddenly behind me! I was afraid for the first time! Total darkness! Total silence! Then after a space of time the length of which I could not determine, a bright light began to glow in the room! Brighter and brighter it became! It was somewhat above me and in front of me. I tried to look but was almost blinded from it! I held my hands up in front of me and could make out the appearance of a figure setting on some type of seat!
Then without warning it happened! “What have you done with your life?” The voice penetrated my very being! I had no answer! Then to my right I saw what seemed to be like a movie, and I was in it! I saw my mother giving me birth, my childhood and friends! I saw everything from my youth up! I saw everything I had ever done before my eyes! As my life played out before my very eyes I tried to think of good things I had done. I was raised in church and had been very active in church functions, yet as I pondered on this I saw a man in his car that had ran out of gas. I had stopped and given him a lift to a local store about a year ago.
I had bought him some gas as he had no money and helped him get on his way! I thought to my self, why am I seeing this? The voice was loud and clear. You took no thought to help this soul and asked nothing in return! These actions are the essence of good! I saw all the people I had hurt as well and was shown how my actions had set in motion the actions of others! I was stunned! I had never thought of my life having an effect on the actions that friends, family, and others I had met would take! I saw the results of all I had done! I was not pleased at all!
I looked on until the events came to an end. Indeed I had done so little with my life! I had been selfish and cruel in so many ways! I was truly sorry I had done so little. Then again loud and clear I heard the voice speak again. “You must return!” I did not want to return though. I was content to stay and longed to stay even after the things I had seen and heard. I have so many questions, I replied, things I need to know I don’t understand.
“You must return and help others to change by changing your life! Physicians will want to perform surgery on you. Do not let this happen! If you do you will never walk again! You will be visited by one who will bring you answers to the questions you have. When I call you will come again! You will recover from all that has happened if you do these things. Look and see what lies ahead!”
I turned and saw the earth in a turmoil! Wars and death, terrible sights! Cities fell and new ones were built! I saw the United States and a volcano exploding covering many cities in darkness! I looked on and saw the collapse of our government as we know it. People killing for food and water, horrible sights! I saw what seemed to be a giant explosion in the earth’s atmosphere and much land was destroyed! I looked on and saw a new type of people, younger and of a peaceful nature. The cities were few that were left, but these people seemed to be content. It is time for you to go, I heard again! But I wanted to see more!
Then the doors opened and I felt myself almost being carried down the hallway. I passed through the doors of the city and felt myself shooting through this hole I had came through! Faster I went unable to stop! I entered the atmosphere of earth and saw the river below. I saw my body still lying there motionless! Then it was like an electric shock so tremendous I felt my body jump! I opened my eyes and saw the trees above and the skyline. Then Oh God the pain! I was struggling for every breath, choking on my own blood!
I managed to roll onto my stomach the pain was all I could bare! I looked at the sky and saw the sun was lower than I remembered. I looked at my watch. It was 5:30! My only thoughts were how could I get help. I noticed my rifle was not far from me, still attached to the rope I had tied around my waist. I began pulling it toward me. I managed to grab hold of the barrel and pulled it up to me. I fired a shot about every ten minutes hoping someone would come. It was getting late and I knew I would not make it much longer, so I began crawling on my stomach, pulling myself with the stock of my rifle.
I managed to crawl up a trail that ran down to the river. I crawled and crawled the pain was so great I passed out many times. Through thick brush and briar patches I crawled. I wanted to give up I was so tired and in so much pain. I knew though I had to make it at least to where I could be found I hoped! I looked out in front of me and saw the road I lived on through the trees. I could hear sounds in the distance! Yes thank you God I thought to myself! I finally found myself at the road and began a feeble cry for help. I was to exhausted though and just lay there in the road.
My father inlaw was returning from work and found me laying in the road! It’s all right I heard him say, help is on the way. That was the last I remembered until I saw the lights inside the ER. A doctor stood at my feet. Can you feel this he said? Feel what I asked? He had been sticking my feet and legs. I was paralyzed! We can not help you here son, he said. We are sending you by ambulance to a hospital that can handle your injuries. Whether from the pain or medication I was out like a light.
The next afternoon I awoke to find two doctors standing at the foot of my hospital bed. They introduced themselves as my attending physicians and proceeded to explain to me I must undergo surgery at once. The bones in my back that were broke, were putting pressure on my spinal nerve causing paralysis. Then I heard the warning I had heard before! “Do not let them perform surgery, or you will never walk again!” I understood completely, but knew they would not. I told them I must see my wife and daughter first! My wife arrived with my daughter shortly after the doctors visit. I told her what they had said.
She advised me I must realize they were doing what was necessary to help me! I did not know how to tell her what I had experienced! I tried to tell her it was my belief that I should not be operated on. Although she disagreed, she honored my wishes. When the doctors returned and I told them of my decision, they were very upset! I listened to lecture after lecture! OK, one of them said, if you never want to walk again that’s up to you! Then they left. That night I lay upon my bed and wept sorely. Was I insane? What was I doing? A light began to fill my room. “You will be well!” I heard a voice say. Then it was gone!
I composed myself and dosed off to sleep. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. Then one morning I felt a tingling in my feet! I was over come with joy! I told the nurse I wanted to get up and walk! She stared at me and said, we’ll see, we’ll see. I knew I was healed without a doubt! The nurse put a call into my doctor and the next morning he stopped by. “So you think you can walk?” he said. “Yes,” I replied! “Well we will see.”
A few hours later I was taken down to the Physical Therapy room. They carried me by bed down and raised me up to a vertical position. The nurse helped me in front of a set of parallel bars. I gripped the bars and placed my feet firmly on the floor. One step! Two steps, “my God he’s walking” the nurse said to the nurse who had brought me down!
The next few days was hard. I took many trips to Physical Therapy, and had numerous x-rays done per my doctors orders! My wife and family were all amazed, yet I knew! I had been told! The rest had to be true as well! My doctor was more amazed when he found no bones pressing on my spinal nerve! I use his quote: “This is not normal!” “It seems a higher power has done for you what we were going to try and correct with surgery!” “I have never seen anything like this before!”
Since that day my life has changed and I have been able to help others in ways I never dreamed. I wanted to share this with all, as it is what has led me onward in My Quest for Truth!
Ricky D. RandolphNumber of View :2401