After Josh fell into that river, myself and many others felt a sense of an ending. A death, a hole, a sudden jolting stop. But for Josh, that fall was a beginning. A glorious beginning.
I don't want to think of it as the day he died. I want to think of May 5 as the day he finally became alive. That is why I wrote this. It is written from Josh's perspective -- a guess as to what it might have been like to die.
It all begins with the calming.
My adrenaline, my fear – all of the sensations that seemed so real when I fell into this river – fade away. Everything settles into a strange, quiet serenity. Almost as if time itself has ceased.
Until now I was praying half-consciously, but now I send intentional words into the silence: Lord, what is happening?
Understanding comes as peacefully as the stillness around me.
This is my last moment on earth.
I feel subdued, contented. I never knew it would be so peaceful to die.
The calm is broken by sudden elation. I am going to Heaven – I'm going to Jesus! The next moment my joy is jolted by panic. A thousand thoughts tumble through my mind – all of the things I haven't done, the things I haven't said... Wait – Lord – what about –
Come to me, my son.
Thrill pulsates through me. Did I just hear the voice of God? Did my King speak to me?
Without warning the faces of my parents flash in front of me. Wait! I want to hold on; I start reaching out, grasping for the familiarity of earth's consciousness. But Lord …
Joshua. Come home.
I let go.
Reality morphs. In a electrifying and indescribably beautiful moment, I die.
Light explodes in my mind. I shudder with joy as it flows through my veins, glowing, pulsing – my new heartbeat, my new pulse.
At the same time, I am aware of a deeply curious sensation. I am being lifted up… out... out of the only reality I know. It's like I'm being turned inside out. Something is slipping off of me, as if an old, heavy, tattered coat that I never knew I was wearing. As the strangling burden releases me I realize what it is.
Every struggle, every temptation, every misery over that old nature that continually tormented me – gone. Oh, Jesus, I will never sin again! God, thank you!
Freedom eclipses me. Freedom – so raw and intense I wonder that I can contain it. It is radiating out of me. Light is emanating from me, but not my own light. I know that. I am reflecting the Light of the Son of God.
Time doesn't matter anymore. Only one thing matters.
My entire being pours itself out in praise to my King. I can't bear to keep in such all-consuming joy. Most glorious of all, there is no struggle to find a way to convey my gratitude. It flows straight from my heart without pause, a stream of passionate adoration.
I am swept up in unspeakable ecstasy, with the knowledge I will be worshiping my God like this for an eternity to come.
Praise the Lord! It is finished. My soul has reached it's ultimate redemption. I am home.
I, Joshua Steven Eddy, died.
And now I am finally alive.