This happened to me when I was a little boy, about 11 years old. We lived in a small town called Bennett, Texas and my father was on his vacation from work at the local brick manufacturing plant. One day during his vacation, he decided to go to the Brazos river to go fishing. The Brazos river was about five to seven miles from our house, so he drove to the river in our car.
Our next-door neighbor had three sons, one my age, one two years older, and one a year younger. Another neighbor two houses over had a single son who was two years younger than me. Since we all played together, I asked if they could all go with me and Dad to the river to go swimming.
All the parents agreed and we all piled into the car and rode to the river. Dad cast out his fishing gear and all of us boys put on our swimming trunks and went swimming a little way upstream from Dad, so as to not scare all the fish away from where Dad was fishing. After about a half hour of not catching any fish, Dad decided to move upstream to a different location. He told us to come upstream with him, so we told him we would wade upstream. He said OK, so we started wading upstream while he walked along the bank.
As we waded upstream, the others got about 40 feet ahead of me as I followed along. Suddenly I went underwater! Over my head! It happened so fast that I didn't have time to catch my breath before going under. I swallowed too much water. I surfaced and began spitting water from my mouth, but before I could gasp a breath of air, I went under again and swallowed more water. Again, I surfaced and began spitting water from my mouth, but before I could gasp a breath of air, I went under again and swallowed more water. Now I am getting desperate for air in my lungs! I thought to myself, "I'm going to get a breath this time, no matter what!" Again, I surfaced and began spitting water from my mouth, but before I could gasp a breath of air, I went under again and swallowed more water.
Now, My stomach is hurting badly from swallowing too much water. I told myself, "I've got to stop swallowing all this water!" But as I went under again, I swallowed more water. Since I can't make myself take a breath, and can't make myself stop swallowing water, I'm getting extremely exasperated and angry at myself! I am now fighting as hard as possible to get above the surface so I can get some desperate air! My arm and leg muscles are getting dog tired from all of the struggling! I continued struggling my arms and legs, but now I became too exhausted. I thought to myself, "I'm too tired, I can't do any more. I quit."
Immediately, as soon as I quit struggling, everything seemed to go into slow motion. Just like you see in the movies and on TV, my struggles to get to the surface were in VERY slow motion. After what seemed an eon of struggling in slow motion, I started drifting upward. I continued to rise until I was about 12 or 15 feet above the water. I am really surprised! I'm up here and my body is still down there in the water, struggling! But I'm up here, and I don't hurt any more. I'm not gasping for air, nor hurting from all the swallowed water anymore. Everything is calm and peaceful up here. I'm OK!
After a little while, as I contemplated my situation, a sphere of light appeared before me about 20 feet in front of me. It was about the size of a basketball and gave off a very brilliant light. The sphere seemed to look like it had light inside that was churning. Churning like a thick cloud or smoke moving around, confined within the limits of the sphere. But it was light, not a cloud or smoke! For some reason, it seemed very important that I focus my attention on it. As I watched it, a very black small dot appeared in the center of the churning sphere. As I looked at the dot, it suddenly zoomed out and up toward me and there stood the live figure of Jesus Christ in all His splendorous glory!
Upon recognizing Him, I immediately flung my arm up before my eyes and face and told Him, "Get away! Get away! I'm not worthy of being here with you!" He held out His arm toward me and instantly, all my fear went away. I looked at him and felt the most overpowering sense of His love for me. He stood before me and glorious light emanated from Him in every direction. He looked just like the pictures we see of him, with the long hair and beard, and the white wrapped cloth that was worn in His time on earth 2000 years ago. Although His clothes were white and his hair and beard was black, he radiated light that was intensely bright, and golden in color, and His complexion appeared almost golden too. The light was very, very bright, but it didn't hurt my eyes. In the physical realm, it would have blinded me, but here it was normal.
The light emanated in every direction from him, and I could see the rays as they flowed from Him. Light travels at 196,000 feet per second, but this light from him, I could see it radiate toward me. I could see it leave Him and move toward me. I could see it as it went in every direction, and I know it went FROM Him and outward until it diminished. It seemed like my eyes were now able to see things much more clearly. Almost as if I was able to see supernaturally, better than I had ever been able to see before in the physical world. It's like my vision could keep up with the speed of light without any effort. As I felt the light on me, I looked down at my body, and I was also dressed in white, just like Him. The wrapped cloth covered all of my body, including my feet. Only my head was not covered. With the light shining on me, I felt the most overpowering feeling of love flowing from Him to me.
He started talking to me, and I could hear Him very clearly. I have always been hard of hearing since infancy because of cerebral palsy, the result of severe malnutrition. But when He spoke, His voice was loud and clear. His voice was so clear that it truly sounded like music in my ears. Every syllable rang with clarity, like a bell peeling and reverberating through the air. Every word sounded like a cascade of orchestrated music. Now my hearing seemed to be supernaturally better than I had ever been able to hear in all my life. A strange thing, though. When He spoke, His lips didn't move. When I spoke, my lips didn't move. It's like we spoke to each other through extra-sensory perception. It seemed now like all my senses were supernaturally super sharp. It also seemed like I had suddenly gained supernatural wisdom. As He talked to me, I understood everything He said immediately. With my newly gained wisdom, I understood everything he said, no matter how complicated or complex. One thing that struck me was that when I spoke, He had already read my mind and knew what I was going to say. When He spoke, I had already read His mind too. I couldn't tell a lie, because as soon as I thought about what to tell Him, He already knew what I was thinking.
After conversing for a short while, a giant panoramic screen appeared. On the screen, different phases of my life history was being acted out in full 3-D living color. The actions being played out on the screen weren't in any chronological order, but every action or thought I had ever performed, or thought, during my short lifetime was there. You know the saying, "When a person dies, his whole life flashes before his eyes." Well, this is what was happening. Without pointing to any of the scenes, He asked me about one of the scenes. That scene in question immediately zoomed out big enough to cover most of the screen. I could see some of the other scenes still playing around the edges of our big scene, but they were in the background. He would ask me about something in this big scene we were viewing, and I had to explain to Him why I did or said the things that I had done or said in that historic moment of my life.
In one case, my twin sister and I were in a scene, and He asked me why I was pulling my sister's hair. In another case, why I lied to my mother. In another, why I was throwing rocks at my dog. In still another, why I wanted to fight and hurt my neighbor friend. In still another, why I was too lazy to do my homework that day. In each case, I first knew I had done something bad so I wanted to try to shade my answer a little so the effect wouldn't be so badly stated. As soon as I said it, He knew I wasn't telling the absolute truth and He severely rebuked me. After just two or three responses like that, and being severely rebuked, I knew I couldn't ever fool him, and for my own good I needed to come clean and tell the absolute truth.
In some scenes that were favorable to me, or in which I had done something good or outstanding, He praised me profoundly. In scenes that were funny, He laughed wholeheartedly with me. Did you know that Jesus has the greatest sense of humor? After we had viewed and discussed most of the greatest or most important scenes, the screen went away.
After a short time it was time to go. He took my hand and we started traveling at a tremendous speed through a tunnel. Our feet weren't moving, nor were we in any kind of vehicle to carry us fast. We just levitated in mid air, and zoomed at a tremendous speed through the tunnel. As we moved through the tunnel, I knew we were going very, very fast. Strangely though, the walls, ceiling, and floor did not zoom past me in a blur like the case when speeding down the highway in a car. You know, how the scenery immediately by the highway will zoom past as we go down the road, but the scenery farther away from the highway moves by at a slower speed, so we can enjoy watching it go by. In this tunnel I could look at the wall, ceiling, or floor and it seemed to be moving right along with us at the same speed. The walls, ceiling, and floor of the tunnel seemed to be churning like smoke.
As far as I could see, ahead and behind, the surfaces were constantly churning. I like to think of it as firmament, for lack of a better word. Realizing that we had been moving for quite some time in this tunnel, I thought "I wonder how much longer this will last?" Looking ahead, I saw a light a long way ahead. I knew that this was our destination and was eagerly watching as we got closer to the light.
Suddenly something physically hit my foot as my body continued to struggle in the water below, and immediately, I was back inside my physical body. All the pain in my muscles, stomach, lungs and throat was thunderously evident and I was desperately fighting to get to the surface again. James, my neighbor swam underneath me and came up between my legs and raised me up until I surfaced and began gasping for air. He then started swimming underwater with me riding on his back. As he swam a little way, I realized he was starting to struggle, and I knew he needed air too.
Not wanting to drown him, I slid off his back and stood up. I was now standing in water chest deep, and James burst up gasping for air. We waded to the bank and I was too exhausted and collapsed. I immediately vomited water. I vomited again, and again, and again. But there was no more water in my stomach. Yet I continued to heave, again and again. Now I was starting to get cramps in my stomach from the dry heaving. Finally the heaving tapered off and I was able to settle down and rest. Immediately, Carl, the youngest boy in our group yelled for help. He too, now was drowning in the river. L. C., the oldest boy in the group dove for him and saved him.
Dad decided that we all needed to get home now. There was too much happening too quickly for comfort so we all loaded into the car and came home. My body was very sore for days after that. All my muscles were sore, and my stomach hurt a week from all the stretching it received because of the excess water I had swallowed.
Because of all the excitement and shock of the moment, the only thing I remembered was the fact that my whole life flashed before my eyes. I vividly remembered seeing my life flash by, but I didn't remember that Jesus was there too.
It wasn't until some twenty or more years later that I started getting flashbacks and slowly, over a period of time, I pieced together the whole thing again.