It was the night before Christmas,
And a good day to die.
If I said I wasn't drinking,
Then that would be a lie.
I took the curve at sixty eight,
Felt gravel 'neath my tire.
I lost control and hit a tree,
And that started a fire.
As I stood outside my body,
My fate as yet unknown,
I saw colors swirl around me,
And I was not alone.
An angel gently beckoned me,
With him, I feared to leave,
For I'd denied God all my life,
And I did not believe.
The angel smiled and took my hand,
Then led me toward a light.
The light cut through the midnight gloom,
And seemed to split the night.
When it faded, once we entered,
I could hear men screaming.
I feared he'd taken me to Hell,
And prayed I was dreaming.
Then I felt water hit my face,
A deck beneath my feet.
The crew was working frantically,
Screaming: "We must retreat!"
A man moved past me, filled with fright,
Shouting: "we're forsaken!
The Teacher is our only hope,
Let Him now awaken!"
The Teacher got up to His feet,
Then raised His hands up high.
He told the storm to calm itself,
And I watched it comply.
Amazed, I saw the clouds disperse,
A starry night arrived.
The crew knelt down and worshiped Him,
Relieved that they survived.
Their language was a foreign tongue,
And yet, I understood.
He said their fear and lack of faith,
In God's eyes, wasn't good.
I felt a bit uncomfortable,
A little out of place.
That's when a crewman noticed me,
But didn't know my face.
Then Jesus said: "I know this man."
He called me by my name.
And in that moment I was changed,
I'd never be the same.
The next few months, I followed Him,
And listened to Him preach.
I hung on every word He spoke,
Learned all that He would teach.
Then He said: "We must now depart,
Jerusalem we go."
I whispered to Him privately:
"They'll kill you there, you know."
He said "That's how it has to be."
His reasons became clear,
Had He not made this sacrifice,
I doubt that I'd be here.
It happened as He said it would,
I saw Him crucified.
He looked at me and said: "It's done."
I woke up when He died.
When consciousness returned to me,
They'd pulled me from my car.
Amazed that I was still alive,
They praised my lucky star.
As I looked across the highway,
I saw another light,
He was there, in all His glory,
It was an awesome sight.
I heard His voice inside my head,
"My son, remember me.
Hold on to this experience,
For I have plans for thee."
He vanished as the EMT's
Placed me on a gurney.
And my tale ends where it began,
The start of my journey.
I return here every Christmas,
Place flowers 'neath that tree,
In honor of the miracle,
That Jesus shared with me.
This poem was a finalist in the July 2021 poetry contest