Testimony of a Friend

(Posted here with Permission.)

I've read a bit about your testimony at your site, and I would like to say that I also especially appreciate your exposition of physics and the universe. I understand that you reached a philosophical dead end at age thirty, and that then you looked for an answer to the meaning of life, and was blessed to be found by Christ. I'm very glad to read that. My experience has some similarities, though I reached my dead end at age 20 (in 1974) while studying electrical engineering at university. University physics just astounded me, revealing such fascinating complexity and order at the micro level of the universe. Yet according to the philosophical materialism I'd adsorbed as "naturalist" it was all solely the result of accidents. Something didn't compute.

An additional quandry left me quite depressed. If every unique human personality does really vanish at death, extinguished forevermore, then what could possibly be the point for perhaps 70-80 years of sentient self-awareness followed by everlasting oblivion? I also realized that the worst consequence of this is that there could never be real justice. Both victims and perpetrators of horrific crimes marched relentlessly and indifferently into the everlasting void. Victims could never be requited and criminals often lived out their lives unapprehended and unpunished. By that time in my late teens I was becoming more aware of the horrific attrocities of the 20th century. So, there I was with awareness of an astounding micro universe, and an appalling macro universe of human culture, all supposedly the result of random fluctuations of matter and energy after the inexplicable Big Bang. After many months of such contemplation I fell deeply into a "vanity of vanities" hopelessness and my grades dropped severely, further burdening my thoughts.

On the evening my depression reached its nadir I went up on the roof of my dorm for solitude and I tried to discover some kind of meaning for life. I sat down, started a review, and I ran out of possibilities in a minute or so. I burst out weeping, so hopeless was I. After several moments I looked up into the starry night and simply cried out to the sky, exasperated, "What is this life all about? What am I supposed to be doing?" I wasn't calling to anyone because my science knowledge certainly proved that there was no one there. After another minute or two I ran out of tears and climbed downstairs and went to bed, numb from depression.

That evening during my unhappy sleep I had what I would now call a night vision. In the vision, it was as if I were sitting on my dorm bunk in the dimness of the night. Then Jesus was sitting next to me. I was sitting at his right side, he at my left, and he had his right arm around my back, holding me next to him, just comforting me. I'm not from a Jewish background and I did not then know any Jewish people, but later I realized that Jesus' appearance in the vision was characteristically Semitic. (I've since met many Israelis who remind me of Jesus in my night vision.) Jesus' face also gleamed beautifully in the dimness. Mostly I was moved by the love in his eyes toward me. We just sat there in together in the dimness of the night, his arm around my back comforting me.

After a while he vanished and I awoke instantly, lying on my stomach. I was deeply puzzled and had no idea what the dream could possibly mean. In fact I began to roll over to get on my back and as I did I muttered out loud, "What was THAT all about?" I meant of course, "What was JESUS doing in MY dream?" He's for unscientifically-minded Christians, of which I am most decidedly not one. After my muttered remark I was on my back and the next thing I noticed was an extremely powerful sensation on my back, nearly, but not quite, to the point of pain, exactly where Jesus' arm had been around me. I was even more perplexed and had no understanding of what had occurred. Within a day or two I had forgotten the dream.

Well, to shorten a lengthy story, I flunked out of university and then joined the USMC. There I became a Theist, to deal with human injustice in the universe. Then after some miraculous encounters I bought a second-hand Bible and began to read. I came to understand how grievouslly I'd sinned, and I knew that Christ was sent by the Creator to die as payment for all who would trust in him. I did repent and trust Christ. Not long afterward I had a powerful experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Not so long after that I remembered my hopelessness only a few short years earlier, and I then remembered my night vision. Then I also recalled Paul's admonishment to be seated with Christ in the heavenlies. So then I understood that I'd been shown the answer to my questions - "What is this life all about? What am I supposed to be doing?" - and that is to be seated with Christ, resting with him on his throne.

I thought sir you might be blessed.

William Strathman

January 6, 2013

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