The Valley of the Shadow of Death

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

. 2 min read

My family and I were at my Nana's house watching TV when I had this strange feeling that the air was becoming pressurized - like on an airplane. I yelled for everyone to get down on the floor and then covered them with blankets. Then, all of the windows in the house exploded inward, and there was this overpowering sound like a train coming toward us. I ran outside into the driveway, looking at an F5 tornado about half a mile in the distance. It was uprooting and destroying everything in its path and heading directly for me.

Staring at the blackness of the tornado as it ripped up houses and trees in its path, I couldn't move. My family yelled at me to get out of the way and run, but I was paralyzed with insatiable curiosity. I wanted to stare death in the face. It was just a few yards off, and I marveled at the tornado's beauty and the perfection of nature.

It was now right on top of me. The tornado slowly lifted me off the ground. My arms were outstretched, and my body formed a cross. As I was pulled into the tornado, I realized I was about to die. I felt a sense of peace and said Psalm 23 out loud:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil: for thou art with me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The last thing I remember was a short flash of being torn to pieces. When I woke up, I was in an open field and greeted by God (who looked a lot like Kevin Klein). He welcomed me, and we talked, but I don't remember the details. God led me into a huge building where many little people were processing the recently dead in a very long line. Once I finally reached the front of the line, I saw a tall, wooden desk. On top of the desk was a giant book that suddenly flipped open (God was still standing with me), and I somehow knew it was my page it was open to.

In the book were pasted crayon drawings and stickers, the kind of stickers that kids used to collect. The little person was about to close the book, and I asked God to keep the book open so I could see it, and he kept it open for a few seconds longer. I saw that two numbers divided up the good and bad things I had done in my life, and I had done 2,334,000 bad things and 3,423,230 good things. It was shocking that the numbers were so large, and I realized that even the most minor things we do have a ripple effect, good and bad, in all directions.

A gate opened, and I was granted access. I had done fewer bad things and more good in my life. What would my fate have been otherwise? I remember thinking I led what I considered a decent and good life, but I had caused much harm. This knowledge upset me, and that's the last thing I remember before waking up.