I haven't written to the Lamplighter for a long time, but now I have something to write about. Sunday, October 2, 2011 I was standing in our church preaching on our authority in Christ. The Lord was blessing but it began to get real warm, or so I thought. One of the people opened the windows, another turned on two fans, but I was still hot, very hot, and sweaty. I was about half way into my message when the people started to sway back and forth. I thought, "My, that's funny." They usually do that when they're singing, but I found it was me doing the swaying. Then I lost my balance and my two son-in-laws came up and caught me. My legs would not move, so Elias picked up my feet and put them down until I got off the platform. They set me on the front pew. My wife and daughters were trying to get me to breathe with no success. I died sitting in the front pew.
Tim Moon and Billy Tyler picked me up and laid me on the floor. There was a young lady that came that Sunday who hadn't been there for about a month, but she knew CPR. Did God have something to do with that?
Let me tell you what happened when I died: all the noise, crying, and praying stopped. I felt my spirit leave my body, very peaceful. Remember when you were a child and you would find a piece of plastic, put it on the lawn and run the sprinkler on it? We called them slippy slides. Well, that's just how it felt to me, but I was going up a very fast speed. All of a sudden I could see the top; it was the prettiest light blue cloud I had ever seen. when I entered the cloud, it reached out and encompassed me. It was just like Jesus put his arms around me and was hugging me.
Then I started hearing voices around me, "Pastor, Pastor, don't leave, we need you. Brother John you are loved. Daddy, Daddy, I love you, don't die!" Then I heard about 40-45 people praying for me and it seemed like they were very little in a group and the group got bigger and bigger until they were all there praying and crying over me. The lady that had performed CPR on me cracked one of my ribs, but thank God she was there and knew what to do. I just did not know that so many people loved me that much. I think we do too much labeling on folks. Labels are for filing, labels are for clothing, or just about anything you buy but labels are not for people.
I finally came to my senses and the ambulance crew was there trying to get me on the gurney. I wound up at Harrison Hospital in the E.R. They told me I would be admitted, so I spent four days of tests and more tests. The ultrasound showed the left carotid artery that feeds the brain was 99% blocked so, you fill in the blanks. They sent me home and told me they would have to operate in ten days.
I was home for two days and had another seizure. My daughter-in-law Barbi drove me back to the hospital. I was in the operating room the next day for three hours. I hurt so bad that all I could say was, "Jesus, Jesus." After three more days they sent me to a transitional care facility where I learned to walk, talk, eat, and do the things that normal people do. I spent eleven days getting so I could be a normal person again. I done a lot of soul searching while I was there. Folks, I think we need to do that. So anyway I am doing a lot better and I want to thank every one of you for your prayers and support. God bless.
Pastor John F. Allaway