Dear Mrs. Eadie:
My husband died in 1975. Before his actual death, his doctors pronounced him dead three times. They were astonished to witness his return to life each time with a clear mind and filled with energy, even though he was dying of terminal cancer and old age. At the hospital, the nurses began to call him among themselves "the man who wouldn't die." All this is recorded in the hospital records.
During the times he was dead, my husband experienced things, some of which were exactly as you wrote about in your book.
Charles was a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and was written up as the "father of paleontology." For years he taught medical students. When the subject of near-death experiences would come up in class, Charles would explain that there is no life beyond the grave, that everything ends there, that the body gradually changes to become nourishment for other forms of life. The experience of going through a dark tunnel to see "God" at the end as a bright light was just an illusion. For when the body is undergoing the hard stress of dying, he said, certain chemical reactions are triggered in the brain, and this is nature's way of providing ease from the stress, nothing more. So imagine his great surprise when he found himself separated from his physical body at the hospital. He told me that he began to analyze everything carefully, taking nothing for granted. But soon he had to admit to himself, that this was certainly not an illusion. He'd never felt more alive! All of his many senses seemed to surface, to come alive in him, he said.
Next he found himself in the dark tunnel, before the bright light and God! God received him with the same unconditional love that you experienced, Mrs. Eadie. He said his entire body vibrated with God's wonderful love. From head to toe, God's love flooded him, and once you have experienced God's love, he said, you'll want to remain forever by his side, never to be far from his love ever again. He learned that though he had not believed in God on earth, God believed in him! God had loved him tremendously, since the very beginning.
Charles had been an atheist on earth, but he was not a person who fought good, nor was he against humanity. He was known for his genuine humility, gentleness of spirit and his great love for people. His goal in life had been to aid humanity in any way possible, to help mankind evolve and get on the right path mentally. He dedicated his life to help remove some of the ugly racial and religious prejudices. For seventeen years Charles was a spokesman for the university and a radio debater. His job was to deal with the radical preachers who were constantly challenging the science departments of the nations' universities, demanding that they shut down or teach science only according to the Bible—or according to their own interpretations of it.
Charles was well prepared for this. He had studied the Bible for many years in the original languages. He said his aim was to make the church leaders realize how far they had strayed from the true master that they claimed to follow: Jesus Christ. Charles soon gained great fame for this, but because of the dark works found in the Christian churches then, he turned further and further away from the Bible—and he eventually wanted no part of the God that these churches followed.
Then, when he died and stood before God's bright light in heaven, he learned this had been his major mission on earth—to debate with religious leaders who were taking the world into a dark path. He learned that the only way he could do this was as a scientist! He was reminded that Jesus Christ came to earth to chastise the religious leaders of his time, who were also leading their people in the wrong path.
Who would ever have believed that Berkeley's famous atheist would be the person to teach me about God! And who would have believed I would look deeply into the eyes of an atheist to see the spirit of Christ in those eyes! Life has never ceased to amaze me. It may take a lifetime of following our hearts before learning that we've been doing what God sent us to do in the first place. Charles Camp reminds me of Saul in the Bible. What passionate men! They knew what they believed, and they taught it with all their hearts. In The Awakening Heart I told the story of my brother-in-law Tom, who had been an atheist most of his life. I told him of my experience in heaven with God, and he dismissed it outright. Then God redirected his life by giving Tom his own near-death experience. What a gift and a blessing! Tom was instructed to tell everyone he met that God lives both in heaven and in the hearts of all mankind. Today, as he speaks of his knowledge of God, he shares his precious message with passion and love.…
Following one's heart with passion, direction, and determination is giving life to life. Could any father ask for more?
On the other side I was told that each person's life is like a river. The destination is set, but the method of our journeying is up to us. We can cruise down the middle of the river at top speed, or we can dig the shore and spin around in eddies. We can crash over rapids or chart a safer path between obstacles. We can slum along the bottom in the mire and slime of sediment, or we can glide along the sparkling surface where the air is clean. The river is ours from birth to death. How we navigate it is determined by the hundreds of small choices we make each day.
God can especially use people who will throw themselves passionately into what they love, who walk forward confidently committed to a cause.
To discover our mission in life we must see challenges as opportunities for growth and then face them head on. Each challenge measures our strengths and progress. Even when trials cause pain or sorrow, we must look for new lessons in the pain and ask God for the power to learn and to grow from it. Suffering focuses our attention on what matters most, and with God's help, we can strengthen our spirits by learning patience, tolerance and love.