A few months ago I had a setback in my bike riding schedule. In the middle of the night I had a nocturnal seizure. I had never had any kind of seizure before. After spazzing out for a few seconds, I was not “present” for about 10-15 minutes according to my wife, Reina. Apparently there were family members and paramedics scurrying around our bedroom and I was lying on my side in bed with my eyes open, but I wasn’t really there. It was like the lights were on, but no one was home. After spending the rest of the night in the emergency room and having a complete battery of eight tests that all came out normal, I was told by my general practitioner and my neurologist that these things happen from time to time, and sometimes we never know the cause. Then they put me on a medication to prevent another seizure from happening.
Ten weeks later I had to take a behind the wheel driver’s test. Haven’t done that in 46 years! Sitting in the chair next to all the nervous teenagers for two hours I was thinking about what a great state we live in where a guy has a lapse of consciousness and the Department of Motor Vehicles does it’s due diligence by giving me a behind the wheel driving test . . . TEN WEEKS LATER! Ah, the bureaucracy of it all. I’m just sayin’! I passed my driver’s test with flying colors by the way, so I guess I’m good to go on a bike, too!
But here’s the really good part. Brace yourself. My wife was amazed at the fact that all these people are fussing around in our bedroom at ‘oh-dark-thirty’ in the morning, and I’m just sitting there with this peaceful expression on my face. (I’m guessing she’s thinking I wouldn’t normally act that way). But here’s the wondrous thing. All the time that this commotion was going on, I wasn’t there. I have this vivid recollection of having spent that time in a meadow or a field. I remember being encouraged to lie down and rest in the field by someone. I felt it was a male presence that was with me. I felt safe. I felt great peace lying on my side in the tall yellow grass with a warm gentle breeze blowing. After awhile, at the urging of the male presence, I got up and left this peaceful place, this private reverie, and woke up in an ambulance on my way to the hospital. Now I’m thinking that it was Jesus who was with me in the pasture. But it could have been Jesus, the paramedic.
A few months later I happened across one of my earliest favorite scriptures. One I had memorized as a child long ago. The Twenty-Third Psalm:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Okay so I’m old enough to have memorized it in the King James Version, and the pastures were yellow in my experience and not green, but hey, I live in San Diego and that’s what our pastures look like in the summertime!
Or is it that I live in His kingdom and this experience was simply a gentle reminder?