More than nine years ago, I was suffering from congestive heart failure because of a genetic problem whose name I still don’t know. Long story made short, when I first got to a cardiologist, he recommended open heart surgery as soon as I could get on the schedule. Feb. 10, 2005, I had my first open heart surgery because my aortic valve had blown open.
During more than six hours on the operating table, and in the following days of medically induced coma, with who knows what chemicals flowing through my system, I met God–God as absolute, utter peace, God as a presence so loving that to remember that time brings tears to my eyes because what I learned is that God’s promises are true–though no one really knows how they will manifest. Our job is to love and trust God. So simple. To say. But I had no doubt that I was in God’s presence. There was no gold, no throne, no angels of any type, just this incredibly peaceful and loving darkness in which I was utterly content.
This first volume of At the Water’s Edge, taken from the old hymn and now a praise song, Come to the Water, or For Those Tears I Died, consists of my earlier newspaper columns written out of my most joyful experiences and the person they made me.