Dec 09, 2013
Some years back there was a short-lived, crime drama TV series called “Crossing Jordan,” which some of my fellow Bible students and I immediately saw as “there goes Hollywood prophesying again (without their knowledge).”
Students of the Word of God understand that the Jordan River is a symbol of death. Geographically, it flows down from the mountains in Lebanon and finally empties into the Dead Sea (i.e., the sea of humanity, all of whom are/will be Dead). When the children of Israel crossed over Jordan into the Promised Land after their forty years of wilderness wanderings, the Bible (Joshua 3:16) tells us that the waters were arrested at the city of Adam. In other words, the waters of the river “stood in a heap” until the children of Israel walked across (the temporarily dried up) Jordan. Easton’s Bible Dictionary tells us that the city called Adam was probably near Succoth.
Succoth means “booths,” which is associated with the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Succoth, Booths, Tabernacles symbolizes the third and final stage of salvation, the resurrection into incorruptible immortality. So translating the symbols to chronology, it means that death reigns all the way from the time of Adam until Tabernacles; that is, until we personally enter our own new tabernacle (spiritual body).
But we have to go all the way down to the Dead Sea until we come back to where Adam was, only this time it is better because Adam, the man, was obviously made corruptible. In Tabernacles, we will no longer have the possibility of being corrupted and to fall again into mortality. “Crossing Jordan” therefore is Bible symbolism for dying, a necessary prerequisite for resurrection! This journal entry is about the night of Roxanne’s “crossing Jordan.”
I have stated in previous entries concerning Roxanne that I would share more of the strange “coincidences” in connection with her passing. Here are another two: the phones and the book…with some preliminary, stage-setting information.
We sometimes hear of a person who simply passes away so peacefully that it appears they simply nodded off in a chair, or if in bed, they simply quit breathing. Such was the case with at least three people whom I knew. When I have told people that Roxanne “died in my arms,” some have gotten the impression that it was like that. For her, perhaps (and I hope and I believe) it was; for me, it was not.
On the evening she died, we had enjoyed a dinner of her homemade chili. When I had come home from my office on that evening, I had told her that after dinner I planned to mow the back yard as it was getting to the point of looking shabby.
But after we finished the delicious chili—have I mentioned what a great cook she was? More on that later or some other time—we sat at the table and just chatted for about half an hour and suddenly she said something like, “I have to stop talking and go upstairs and rest; I am getting short of breath.”
I was not particularly concerned because she had mentioned something like that a couple of days or maybe even a week previously along with a comment that she figured she was probably fighting off a respiratory infection that was trying to take hold.
So I responded with something like, okay, please do get some rest, and meanwhile I will go mow the lawn. So she went upstairs—in retrospect, I can now only imagine what a struggle that must have been for her physically! I did not follow her closely enough to see her going up the stairway, but I went up within a minute or so and went to my bedroom, took off my shirt and trousers, and put on my robe.
I had left my grubby, mow-the-lawn pants hanging in my bathroom, so when I came out of my bedroom to walk the few steps to my bathroom door, I could see down the hallway that she had just opened her bedroom door and was hanging onto it with one hand while with the other she was clutching at her chest. And in a faint voice she looked at me and whispered, “I can’t get my breath.”
I raced down the hall and got behind her in order to help her to her bed, but as soon as I had my arms under her, her knees buckled and she collapsed. I laid her down gently on the carpeted hallway just outside her door, which is at the top of the staircase.
I had CPR and first-aid training many years ago (when I was a volunteer fireman), but when you never use it, you lose it. Or in any case, all that training seemed to be only vaguely available to me on that night because inside myself I was in a panic and beset with the terror at what I was seeing. Within a few seconds she was turning purple from the chest up and into her face.
Only a couple hours later did the Emergency Room (ER) doctor confirm what I suspected but which my conscious mind in that time of panic would only intermittently let through; namely, the thought, the reality that she was already gone.
According to the ER doctor, after he had discussed with me her history and the sequence of events of that evening, she was probably gone within a few seconds of her collapsing in my arms. He explained that her heart ruptured and gave out; therefore, her blood stopped circulating; therefore, her lungs quit functioning, she quit breathing and was gone. But that reality was something my conscious mind would not allow me to accept in those minutes of panic and terror.
I laid her down on the carpet, raced down to my bedroom and grabbed my cordless house phone and dialed 9-1-1 as I ran back to her in the hallway. As it rang in to the 9-1-1 center, the operator answered and before I could say anything, it disconnected. I tried again. The same thing happened! I ran back down the hall and grabbed my cell phone. I remember hearing myself shouting and sobbing at the same time, “Oh, God, no! Oh, God, please, don’t let this be! No! No! No!” The same thing happened twice with the cell phone as I am kneeling over her, holding her under her neck, but seeing no signs of life.
Were both phones losing the signal? Apparently, but that was very strange because I had used both a cordless house phone and my cell phone from that area of the house on many occasions without ever losing the signal.
Furious at the technology and in a horrible panic, I then virtually leapt down the stairway and grabbed another house phone out of the kitchen and hit 9-1-1 as I was racing back up to her now-lifeless body. Even later that evening, as I returned home from the ER a widower, the thought occurred to me that the multiple failures to connect with 9-1-1 was a sign to me that it had been futile from the beginning. Our Father has determined the appointed time for each of us to die and nothing on earth can change that. This was Roxanne’s appointed time for crossing Jordan.
But this time, trying to connect while using a third phone (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles), the line remained connected and the operator dispatched the emergency services while she instructed me on how to perform chest compression over the heart and to keep it up until the emergency services arrived. I did so, but in my heart, I knew it was futile. I knew she was already gone.
As you may have read in a book or seen depicted in a movie, I felt very strongly that I was sensing her spirit now detaching from her body and that she was invisibly hovering over me and her own lifeless body, communicating with me thoughts to the effect that everything was okay, that she was not in pain, that she was now free of the body which had so long encumbered her with physical problems. Was that my imagination or was that real? I do not know for certain, but I tend to believe it was real.
This is not the time for dissertations on the so-called “astral body,” or the theological implications of all that—but I shall at another time. For it has now become clear to me that her death had to happen before I could complete the follow-up books to Sacred Secrets of the Sovereignty of God. It has been seven years since I published Sacred Secrets. The next volume in the series is to deal with the Bible truth about death and hell and soul and spirit. When I published SSSG, I had thought I would have the next volume ready to go to print within a year.
But there have been some theologically thorny and problematic aspects of these topics in my own understanding. Therefore, I have been reluctant to put them in print as I have been awaiting further clarity from our Father before proceeding. I believe the circumstances of her passing and the aftermath (in terms of the thoughts it sparked in me along these lines) are giving me that clarity, and Lord willing, I shall return to writing the follow-up volumes as time permits.
It was probably ten to fifteen minutes before the first of the first responders arrived (volunteer firemen). They immediately took over with the chest compression. But I could read their faces. It was perhaps another eight or ten minutes before the professional (more medically-trained) emergency personnel arrived.
They cleared the breathing passageways and put an oxygen mask over her nose. They applied the electro-shock with the paddles to her chest, trying to jump start the heart. They hooked up an IV and gave her injections. This took considerable time. All that while, I am in shock, of course, in my robe, slumped on the hallway floor, watching them work, hoping in vain for some sign of a miracle, but knowing deep inside that she was gone.
As they prepared to transport her to the hospital, I asked one of the very first responders, “She was gone when you first got here, wasn’t she?”
“I am very sorry for you, but yes,” he replied. “She was gone.”
I put on some clothes and followed them to the hospital. They did not use the sirens.
This is enough of the story for today; I will tell about “the book” next time.
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