Near death experiences (NDEs). Many people have had them. Not all want to talk about them. But one thing is commonly reported: a feeling of unconditional love. A number of academic studies, including those at Indiana University, confirm almost universal experiences among those who have come close to death. My colleague, Eric Nelson, writing for the August 8, 2016 edition of Communities Digital news, provides an inspiring essay on God’s Love, its universality and availability, and why you don’t have to almost die to feel it. Here’s Eric:
“It doesn’t matter if they nearly died in an auto accident or a drug overdose, giving birth or attempting suicide,” writes Jeffrey Long, M.D. in a recent Washington Post opinion piece, referring to the thousands of people who have shared their experiences on his Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) website. “The report is often the same: They come back with a profound understanding of God’s love.”
Despite the diverse personal, cultural, and religious backgrounds of these individuals, the accounts they share are remarkably consistent:
“No human can ever love with the love I felt in that light. It is all-consuming, all-forgiving,” wrote one “NDEr,” as those who have had a near-death experience are often called. “Nothing matches it.”
“I felt God as an all-encompassing presence – complete, total, and unconditional love in its highest form!” wrote another.
“The entire encounter was about God, the ultimate power of God, and God’s forgiveness,” wrote yet another. “The message was, ‘Love is the greatest power in the universe.’”
This is pretty profound stuff. Too bad these people had to go through such a harrowing experience in order to see it. Or did they?