Joni writes: "I am a middle-aged mom and grandmother who depends on our Savior everyday of my life. I am hoping this story will reach young adults and help them to receive Christ's salvation."
David was sleeping the sound sleep of a drunken college student who was crashed out on his buddy’s couch for the night. When he’d passed out during a game of beer pong, it seemed very unlikely that he would wake for many hours and so his friends had let him be after removing his shoes and putting a pillow under his head.
The loft apartment where he slept was in the middle of the city and there was plenty of city light and night activity going on outside the window that could be seen and heard at 3:00 am, and 10 floors up from the street. However, it wasn’t a siren or a truck driving by that woke David from his near comatose state that night, it was the sound of rapid breathing and a faint voice that seemed just inches from his face that said:
“David, I need your help, wake-up!”
Instantly it seemed, David awoke to a very strange sight. Above him, was suspended a young man who was nailed to a heavy wooden cross and blood was dripping from his face onto David below. The apartment seemed pitch black above the few inches between David and the young man and no sound, except for rapid labored breathing could be heard.
“Who are you and what is happening?” David cried, desperately trying to figure a way to get out from beneath this seeming monstrosity above him.
The young man moved tired eyes to David’s and replied, “David you know who I am, but you’ve never really met me until this night.”
A huge wave of cynicism rolled over David in that moment and he just knew that one of his buddies must have been pulling some huge practical joke on him. Sort of like that time that he and Gab had thrown ice water on one of their buddies and pushed him out the front door on a winter night. This kind of joke was as familiar to David, as it was to almost any college-aged guy who’d been through a hazing. He was even able to guess at where the fake warm blood must have come from. There was a shop at a nearby mall that sold it by the quart for the vampire set that liked to liven up their parties with the nasty red stuff.
David had become more calm at this point and asked: “Okay, okay, so you’re supposed to be Christ or some martyr and I’m supposed to be what?”
“Repentant!” was the reply and this time the young man’s voice became louder and there was a distinct thread of steel in his tone.
Suddenly, David realized, this really wasn’t a joke and that he and this guy were trapped in a very bad situation. The room was so hot, he felt like he was suffocating and the blackness above them was felt like it was pressing down on them both. The young man seemed to be straining with all of his might to do something, but David wasn’t really sure what. So he decided to change tactics and ask a few questions.
He said: “Dude, are you okay? How the hell did they get you all roped up like this, are you on wires? What’s the deal? How did they make it so dark in here and how long have you been like this?”
Again, the tired eyes rolled toward David and this time he spoke more plainly: “David, I have been hanging here since you died at midnight last night. I am attempting to keep the weight of all of the sins that you committed while on the earth from crushing you and pushing you into the depths of hell for eternity. You are mere inches from hell my son.”
This speech fell on David’s ears like thunder and he couldn’t, wouldn’t believe that this guy was actually Jesus Christ and even more that he himself was dead. He started trying to move his body to get out from under this nutcase and his disgusting sweat and blood that seemed to flow like rain off of his body onto David, but his own body wasn’t moving. As a matter of fact, the only parts of his body that seemed to be moving were his own eyes and his mouth.
He closed his eyes and began to cry in great racking sobs that hurt as the futility of his position and now the realization that he really was dead, started sinking in. This actually was happening to him.
“Okay, okay,” he said, “So if I’m really dead and I’m going to hell. Why are you here, what difference does it make if I repent of anything now, it’s too late when you’re dead, isn’t it?”
Jesus replied, “This is a rescue my son and if you will truly repent, I will show you the way to paradise, but I warn you, it will come with a heavy price.”
David cried, “I hear you, Jesus and I do repent, of everything, the lies, the cheating on exams, the way I hurt my girlfriend, the drinking, everything, just everything. Please, please just save me, I will do anything, be anything that you want, just tell me what to do?”
A loud sigh escaped the young man, and his eyes closed, and he suddenly went limp.
David was terrified and began to scream as he realized that he was about to be crushed there in the blackness and the heat. What had happened to the promised rescue?
And then . . . . . he woke up. His heart beating a million beats per minute, his breath labored and fast and the sounds of the night, the light of the city below . . . all as it was when he passed out a few hours before. He reached for his phone and it read 11:59 pm.
He realized then, that not one of his friends would believe him, and that he really didn’t want to be in that place ever again. Somewhere at his own apartment, in a deep box was the Bible that his mom had given him in middle school. David felt a feverish need to go find it right now to read it, find out more about Jesus and how he was a rescuer of even foolish, drunken young men, like himself.
1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am worst.
(© 2013 Joni DiPatri – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)