THE MYSTICAL WORLD

Vision of Space from the Hubble Telescope. God’s Eye, perhaps?

The photos from the Hubble Telescope are better than anything Hollywood can create, but I must admit I was impressed by the recent film with Sandra Bullock, “Gravity.” What kind of reality is outer space and is there no end? The Bible says, “World without End, Amen.”

I’ve had some spiritual experiences and they’re both “enlightening” and spooky. Mine have so far involved lights turning on mostly in the middle of the night. Once it was the new computer, which had been sleeping.  For the first and only time so far, it “woke up” and stayed on for a couple of hours! Another time, in a hotel room, I had a light turn on and then off three different times during the wee hours. I can only guess who my visitors have been, but I hope to experience it again.

Since it was just Veteran’s Day, I’ve been thinking about my cousin’s husband, Ray. One of the most heartening spiritual stories I’ve heard concerns  him, a Vietnam vet with PTSD, whom I’ve mentioned in a previous blog. Besides post-traumatic stress disorder, in the 1980s Ray was struggling with kidney stones. The pain was so bad he had been drinking Seagram’s VO and popping Demerol. When he went into a medical facility to have the stones removed, he had to stop the drugs, and it didn’t take long for his body to suffer withdrawal symptoms. His condition was so serious, he was rushed to the best hospital in the area at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

“Practically every organ had failed, and I had to have whole blood transfusions,” Ray recalled. “Jackie (his wife and my cousin) was told that I wouldn’t live through the night.”

During the night, he sensed a presence in his room and looked over to the right of the hospital bed where there was a hardback chair. Sitting in it was his friend Bobby, who had served in the same Army company and platoon in Vietnam. Bobby and Ray had lived within 40 miles of each other and after the service remained friends. “We hunted, fished and partied hard together,” Ray remembered. “I would ask him now and then if he was OK because he would get quiet and his eyes looked blank. When he came out of this state, he always said, ‘All right, now’ with great feeling, but he never answered my question.”

Right before Christmas a few years before Ray’s hospital crisis, Bobby had put an end to his troubled life and to the deep depression resulting from PTSD. He had locked himself in a dog pen at his home, put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. “If he’d made it a few more years, he could have gotten help for PTSD,” Ray said.

In the chair next to Ray that night, Bobby was dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt and looked peaceful. He was there in spirit to give his old friend encouragement. “You messed up bad, buddy,” he told Ray, “but you’re going to be all right.”

“And I did get all right,” Ray declared.

Ray Scott, Sr. in a photo taken in Vietnam, 1963.

 

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