Stung By Most Venomous Of Creatures, Man Says He Encountered 'Light' Of Lord
One night while diving for lobster on the island of Mauritius, an Australian named Ian McCormick was stung on his forearm by what local Creole fishermen call "invisibles": extraordinarily poisonous but hard to see "five-box" jellyfish, in the nomenclature of the trade.
Medics were called -- urgently. It was an emergency if ever there is an emergency.
"Found in the waters off northern Australia, the box jellyfish Irukandji is not the only marine invertebrate to use venom, but it is the possessor of arguably the most lethal venom in the world," notes one expert. "In the past half century, sixty-five Australians have been killed by it."
In other words, things didn't look very good for this lobster fisherman -- and by the time an ambulance arrived, he recalls, his body was totally paralyzed; necrosis had begun to set into his bone marrow; and two attempts at finding a pulse had failed.
"The doctors tried to save my life by injecting anti-toxins and dextrose into my body, but seemingly to no avail," he told a website called Bible Probe. "Within a few minutes I seemed to slip away. Apparently life ceased from my body for a period of approximately 15 minutes.
"And during this time, I found myself in a very dark place -- not realizing where I was. I tried to find a light switch, thinking I was still in the hospital -- but as I reached out into the dark I couldn't touch anything. Reaching to touch my face, I found my hand go straight through it. It seemed so bizarre, as I knew I was standing there but couldn't touch any part of my physical body."
It was a classic near-death experience -- something many thousands have reported -- but with this twist: instead of finding himself in a pleasant surrounding, Ian McCormick, a non-believer, and self-proclaimed sinner, found himself in what he perceived as the netherworld.
Ian had been raised as a general Christian -- although at the time of his episode was an atheist and the place in which he found himself -- the dark place -- resembled the place described by others who died and denied the existence of God.
Was it hell -- or deep purgatory?
Like another atheist, Dr. Howard Storm, whose near-death experience has been featured on national television, McCormick found himself harassed by dark forces -- voices screaming at him to "shut up," that he "deserved to be there," that indeed it was "hell."
And like Storm, he was saved by a sudden luminosity.
"I couldn't believe it, but as I stood there a radiant beam of light shone through the darkness and immediately began to lift me upward," says the Aussie -- now a convert. "I found myself being translated up into an incredibly brilliant beam of pure white light -- it seemed to be emanating from a circular opening far above me. I felt like a speck of dust being drawn up into a beam of sunlight. This light wasn't just physical, but was giving off a living emotion. Halfway down was another wave of light -- this time it gave off pure peace -- followed by another wave -- of pure joy.
"Coming out of the end of this tunnel, I found myself standing in the presence of awesome light and power -- it seemed as though even the constellations in the universe must find their energy source from this focal point.
"As I stood there I wondered to myself if this was just an energy source in the universe or if perhaps there could be someone standing in the midst of this light! A voice immediately responded to my thought and asked me, "Ian, do you wish to return?"
If he wished to return to earth, said the voice -- the Voice (let's capitalize that) -- he must see "in a new light."
"Words appeared in front of me," claims Ian. "'God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).' I had never read a Bible before in my life so I didn't know this was straight out of the scriptures. God is light, I thought, is pure light -- I see no darkness here, I have just come from darkness -- I see no evil, no shadows -- this is pure light -- am I standing in the presence of God?"
It was God -- but in the form of Jesus.
No one see the Face of God and lives.
In fact, all Ian saw was the Light -- but a light unlike any on earth, a light others have described as brighter than a million klieg lights -- and yet not painful to look at.
As in most near-death experiences, McCormick described the Light as "unadulterated, unconditional love" -- confusing to this man who had ignored God all his life, "taken His Name in vain," and sinned (as he puts it, "slept around").
"I'm not a good man," Ian thought to himself. And yet there was that mercy. "His garments were shimmering white in color -- garments of light -- and I could see His bare feet and His hands were outstretched towards me as if to welcome me," Ian relates. "I knew I was looking upon God and as I looked toward His face the intensity of the light seemed to increase seven-fold; you couldn't make out the form of His Face as the Light was so bright -- such purity, such holiness, such beauty."
The Lord allowed Ian a glimpse of verdant pastures, a crystal clear stream, and flowers like none seen on earth -- flowers that some have described as swaying in tune with praises to God.
Now that he had seen the afterlife, Ian was asked, did he want to return to earth?
In some accounts, such a option is offered. In most such episodes, however, the near-death experiencers are told they must return -- despite their protests.
Ian decided he wanted to return because in a vision in front of a "tunnel" he saw his mother and knew she had been praying for him -- that she was the only Christian in the family, and that if he died, she would be heartbroken, thinking that due to his non-belief he had found himself -- as indeed he nearly did -- in hell.
With that, McCormick -- having accepted Christ -- decided to come back.
"God then spoke to me and said, 'If I wished to return -- I must see things in a new light.' I understood that to mean that I must begin to see through his eyes of Love, Peace, Joy, and Forgiveness, from His Heavenly perspective -- not my temporary earthly perspective.
"Looking back towards the tunnel again I now could see a vision of all my family, and thousands and thousands of other people. I asked God who all these people were, and He told me that if I didn't return then many of these people would not get a chance to hear about Himů."
What He asked of Ian was that he read the Bible, which the Australian was to do over the course of the next six weeks.
"As I opened my eye, I was lying back on a hospital bed with my right leg elevated, cupped in the hands of the young Indian doctor who had been trying to save my life. He had a scalpel or some sharp instrument in his hand and he was prodding the base of my foot like a dead piece of meat. He wasn't aware that I was looking at him. I thought, 'what's that man doing with my foot, what is he doing with that knife!!!!!!'
"At the same time something seemed to spook the doctor and he quickly turned his head to see my right eye open, looking at him. Terror struck his face and I got the distinct impression that he has just seen a dead man looking at him." As his eyes locked onto to nurses and orderlies, they jumped backwards.
"From what I can ascertain I had been dead for a period of some 15 minutes," he concludes. "I prayed to God that night and asked him to heal me and enable me to walk out of the hospital.
"That night God completely healed me, and enabled me to walk out of the hospital the next day."
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