Mary Neal was white-water rafting in Chile with her husband and some friends when she got pinned under a waterfall. She tried to raise her head out of the water to get some air, but the surging water was so powerful, she says, "I quickly realized I was not in control of my future."
The current twisted her body violently and began pulling her out of her kayak. At the same time, she says, "I felt as though my soul was slowly peeling itself away from my body." Just as her body was freed from the kayak, she felt a "pop": "It felt as if I had finally shaken off my heavy outer layer, freeing my soul."
Neal says that when her soul broke through the surface of the water, she was met by some 20 human spirits. Sent by God, they greeted her with "the most overwhelming joy I have ever experienced." They had "formed shapes," but not with the distinct edges of physical bodies, blurred because each was "dazzling and radiant." They did not speak using mouths, she says, but simultaneously communicated their thoughts and emotions to one another.
Mostly Neal experienced a "feeling of absolute love" as the spiritual beings hugged her and danced with her. She was now in "God's world," she says, where everything "is exponentially more colorful and intense. It was as though I were experiencing an explosion of love and joy in their absolute and unadulterated essence.
"The intensity, depth, and purity of these feelings and sensations were far greater than I could ever describe with words."
Before she began the journey with her new companions, she looked at her earthly companions trying to revive her body. They looked "so terribly sad and ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more