Chapter 6: Oh the Visions

I was holding my breath so long I saw my heart stopping. I believe I was experiencing the beginning of my judgment at the hour of my death.

What seemed to be an intricate weave of my heart and soul, the embodiment of my being, rocketed like a meteor, blindingly fast, up towards the sky. The sky above was a dome, half light and half dark and I was rocketing toward the middle, wavering between the two hemispheres.

I was flying at what felt like the speed of light, and it was so fast that little fibers of my being were shedding off, like a space shuttle reentering orbit and getting rocked by the oppressive friction.

Each fiber was either a shining, luminous strand or a dark, ominous strand. They each seemed to represent either a good deed or a bad deed, respectively, that I committed during my life.

I noticed how the bright strands shed off towards the light, while the dark strands shed off into the darkness.

“Heaven and hell?” I wondered.

I continued to shed layers, arriving closer to my core. I felt like my heart and soul was a tree having each of its rings carefully dissected and unraveled. I felt as if my entire timeline of life was being laid out before me, and that, as time passed, I was being judged on progressively earlier parts of my life.

Everything I’d done in my life, good or evil, was now laid bare for me to see. It was perfectly just and fair. Whatever the outcome of this ordeal, it made perfect sense where I was to go.

If I was on the highway to hell, I feel I deserved it. If I was headed up the stairway to heaven, I earned it. In this moment, I was reflecting on earthly life as a kind of proving ground for the life eternal. It was clearer than ever that my thoughts, words, actions, and inactions will determine where I end up.

Over the next several hours, I experienced many other visions. While I remained physically at the campground, I was emotionally and spiritually far removed. It was as if my eyesight was completely veiled from the campsite. Depending on the vision, I would either just watch it or would act it out in a kind of sleepwalking episode.

The experiences I recall having were:

At another point, distinct from speaking in tongues, I was hearing in tongues. It was as if some divine presence was trying to tell me something across the line. I was clawing at my chest trying to hold onto the nugget of divine wisdom and translate it before it poofed away. I spent several minutes trying to contort a line from a perfect, angelic language and force it into a limited, flawed, human language.

It finally came to me. With big wide eyes, directing it to myself just as much as my friend, I asked, “What’s between your heart and your gut?”

He had no answer. Neither did I. But I was determined to find out.