I see pictures in my head and hear things or sometimes see like a ticker tape of words. Sometimes when I’m in prayer I see things to help people, to lift the lid on their lives.”
“Something’s afoot, for sure.”
Went to Israel in 1984 — I was pentecostal at the tie
It was December of 1994 that Linnie Smith of New Hudson, Michigan, “died” and returned. And when she did, she had an incredible description of Jesus.
What she saw, as you will note in a moment, should be a warning to atheists: Many dozens — hundreds, indeed thousands — are those who return from death’s door with a similar description. In all the fuss over Christmas, in all the commotion over its denial — in the inconceivable hoopla over taking the Name of Jesus out of His very birthday — we can rest assured of one thing: there are great surprises in store for those who deny Him. It doesn’t matter what disbelievers think. Reality is what is real, and near-death experiences are well documented.
But let’s get back to the story of Linnie from Michigan: In 1994, the Michigan woman was in her early forties and in deep distress due to a badly ailing gall bladder.
For years she had suffered digestive maladies and for years Linnie was told it was simply a problem with acid reflux. Incomprehensively — unaware her bladder was filled with stones that were shredding her organ — doctors kept sending her home, and the same happened as Christmas approached thirteen years ago.
Linnie found herself doubled over from pain and yet still turned away — left to suffer at home, unattended by qualified medical personnel.
She was at the end of her rope. She was frustrated. So was her family. There was obviously something very wrong with Linnie yet little recourse but the prayerfulness she had learned as an active Christian. “I had no more strength to keep me inside my body,” she recalled to us this week. “I knew I was dying, that I couldn’t do any more to keep ‘me’ in there. All I had was my faith.”
That was enough to bring the miracle — to bring a glimpse of what we in our limited language call eternity.
“As I was lying there in my room, I began to tell the Lord how much I loved Him, how very much I loved Him, and when that happened the room suddenly filled with the sounds of music, bells, birds, voices, and instruments,” Linnie says. “It was the most beautiful music I ever heard. It was so harmonic. I know now why churches have bells!
“As that music filled my room, a foggy mist rolled in, and as it did I got farther and farther from myself.
“In the blink of an eye, I was in a closed-like tunnel – but not dark. The end was not far away and it was bathed like everyone says, in a light brighter than the sun but with no yellow: pure white light, and transparent and translucent at the same time, radiating out. There are no earthly words for it because you can’t find it on earth.
“As a kid I used to go outside and want a cloud to come down so I could ride it and now I thought, ‘Yes, I got my cloud!’ That’s how He cares about us. He remembered it. It was a cloud-like tunnel revolving clockwise around me.
“Light hit the side of the tunnel and burst into pastel colors that were alive and sparkling. If they could have giggled, they would have – they were full of life. Everything there was full of life.
“Something drew my eyes to the light at the end of the tunnel and there was Christ. He was light. He was full of light and His Hands were out to receive me.
“There were all these shades of lighter white in His Light (in and around Him) but with no dark — more like a prism. There were different shades but no darkness! An artist couldn’t do this. He is light. It became whiter than white. There was so much light coming out of Him that you couldn’t see Him. His Arms were outstretched and I knew I was home and I was ecstatic!”
But just then, the phone next to Linnie’s bed rang and the Midwesterner was suddenly back in her room. That too happened in a “blink.” The fog, the mist, was still there — and there was still the sound of music — but Linnie had snapped back into her body.
It was a friend calling to make sure Linnie was okay – which she was, more than ever before in her life, more than anyone could know, but for the fact that she had returned. “I grieved for years that I was sent back,” she says.
Her friend said it sounded like she was in a cave far away.
As it turns out, it was the first of three such episodes. Later that year, Linnie found herself in the tunnel again — and with Jesus. “The tunnel experience repeated exactly,” she asserts. And in June of 1995, after undergoing surgery that did little to relieve her distress, she was being prayed-over by two friends when the third encounter happened.
This time it was a bit different — actually, mightily different.
“They were praying and it was like someone put a straw into my head and suddenly I was on this green grassy hill and I could feel each blade of grass under my feet and my feet were transparent and translucent with light emanating from them, a soft light,” says Linnie.
“The grass was holding me up and each blade was giving me life. The blades didn’t bend under my weight.
“I looked at all the flowers,” continues Linnie. “You know how a rose looks when it is at its peak? Everything there was at a vibrant peak of perfection. Heaven is full of life and all about life. And there were the bells, the birds, the music. There were lots of hills. No shadows. The sky was like sapphire azure blue and it was alive!”
Suddenly, however — there on the other side — Linnie saw bright white letters — the words of a prayer — scroll before her like a news ticker. They were the words prayed by those friends of hers who were interceding — and they arched in front of Linnie, bounced back, caught her up, and thrust her back into her body.
“Our prayers pierce the clouds,” she learned first hand. “They are seen and heard in Heaven. It was amazing!” The Holy Spirit covered her like a blanket.
And so Linnie — like those so many others — returned again from a place where she desperately wanted to stay but with a new life mission to help others and with her testimony that Jesus is not a figment of the imagination.
She was Pentecostal at the time. In 1998, realizing that the Mother Church had all the charisms, Linnie became Catholic. At one point, she had formed a prayer group that was half Catholic, half Protestant, and prayed the Divine Mercy chaplets.
The Pentecostals had taught her much — and their worship and praise was like singing with the angels, she says — but they did not have the foundation of Catholicism. They did not have the Eucharist (and Eucharistic Adoration). They did not fully understand the significance of suffering.
For some reason, she was led to look for books on the saints like St. Therese of Lisieux and ended up perusing a Catholic bookstore. She was there so much that the store hired Linnie and she took a “crash course” on Catholicism.
In case after case, ordinary people who “die” and return (brought back by modern means of resuscitation) consistently report similar encounter with an incredible Person they immediately recognized as Jesus.
Such is true even of atheists.
And such will be a startling reality for those who would denigrate the greatest Person in the universe — a description not just from religious literature but again from those who have returned from the threshold of eternity.
— Ask former atheist Howard Storm, who was saved from a journey to the netherworld by a light that came to him like a comet and turned out to be Jesus (Dr. Storm is now Reverend Storm).
— Ask Angie Fenimore, a young woman who tried to kill herself but whose case was pled by Christ before the Throne of God.
— Ask Dr. George Rodonaia, a doctor and atheist in Communist Russia who found himself in a totally dark realm after he was killed (and even taken to the morgue) following an accident. (He too is now a minister, no doubt preparing for Christ-Mass).
— Ask a pediatric oncologist from Yale who turned from atheism to belief after hearing near-death accounts from children.
At Mass, says Linnie, Heaven meets the earth. There are actual angels. She now sees those. She also has developed other mystical inclinations. She believes we are in special times indicated by exactly such trends as the rebellion against Christmas. It is time to get our souls “squeaky clean.” There is a “spirit of frenzy.” It is time — especially around Christmas — to get rid of such frenzy. Christ is the Prince of peace. It’s time, she advises, for all of us to love — urgently.
Are the non-believers paying attention?
These are accounts documented by medical doctors.
Those ready to eradicate His Name and rob Him of His holy day might do themselves a favor and read the research.
And yet Linnie had an important message — even about those who do not yet believe, who don’t yet know the love of God, who deny Him Christmas: “Judgment is mine, God’s,” she said it was written on her heart — in white letters, like fire, after her return. “Only I, God, can see the heart. You are to love and help others on their path and journey.”
The Lord told one man named Randy Gehling that he should never worry if people doubted his story or could not understand what he was telling them.
“One day,” said the Lord — allegedly, “everyone will come to see for themselves what you have seen.”