Continuing with Dushan Jovanovich’s “Vision of Heaven and Hell’ part 2
When we arrived at the bridge near the monastery Zica, the monk addressed me, “Dushan, for three months you must not tell anyone what just happened and what will happen to you today. After that you can tell everything only to your family and friends.” I gave him the briefest answer and looked again into the rearview mirror before turning into the monastery’s front parking lot. To my surprise, I saw again the halos above their heads. Unnerved, I felt a tremendous urge to get away from these two as soon as possible.
In the parking lot were several cars and a large group of tourists who were visiting the monastery and its surroundings. I drove the car almost to the monastery wall, and got out to open the door for the monk and the nun, to my surprise, when I looked inside, the car was empty. My eyes searched from the open left door to the right door which was still locked. I could not believe my eyes. I looked very carefully several more times, but the car was empty.
Disbelief, fear and trembling suddenly shook my body. I was afraid I was losing my mind, so I bit my hands, pulled my hair, and slapped my face. As I tormented myself I did not notice that the tourists had gathered around me. I heard them ask what was wrong with me, and I managed to say, “Please leave me alone!” I walked quickly through the circle of onlookers to calm down and to compose my thoughts.
Once alone, I looked at my watch; it was 11:30 am. I remembered every word my passengers said from the moment they got into my car until they inexplicably disappeared when we arrived. Their last caution was that for three months I should not tell anyone what happened and what would still happen that day was the most confusing. I started to talk aloud, “Oh, Lord what can still happen to me? I will go immediately to the health spas. I will not eat lunch; instead I will go right to bed to rest. What can happen to me?” I repeatedly asked myself. “Maybe I will die?” Then I remembered I must not tell anything to anyone for the three months, so I concluded I would live at least that long. It seemed a little funny, then, that just a moment ago I feared for myself, but I was still unable to understand and explain any of these events.
After a brief rest I continued my journey to Mataruska spas, but to this day I do not understand how I managed the drive while so upset. Luckily I arrived at the spas without incident, but I was very confused and exhausted.
It was a few minutes before noon when I passed the hotel “Zica.” Guests were going into the restaurant for lunch. I was not hungry; more than anything else I needed rest. I took my belongings from the car, and went to my room. There I laid down to think in greater detail about the morning.
Contrary to my habit, I laid down on the bed dressed. Soon thereafter I felt a pain in the middle of my chest which was followed by something resembling a strong pinprick directly into the heart. I became irresistibly sleepy and fell into a deep sleep.
What happened next was more vivid than any reality. The door of my room opened wide. The whole room filled with light. An angel with wings entered. He was very handsome, and had long hair tied in a ponytail at the back of his head. He wore a long shiny tunic, over which he wore another shinier, sleeveless one. On his feet were apostle’s sandals. The angel said: “Dushan, get up, we are going for a walk!” Obediently, I got up. As we were about to leave, the angel said, “Dushan, you are very lucky to have picked up the monk and the nun, and to have answered their greeting with “God help us.” Do you know who they were?” I shrugged my shoulders and was about to speak when he said, “They were Saint Apostle Peter and Saint Paraskeva—your Krsna Slava!” I remembered that my father celebrated Saint Paraskeva and it was immediately clear who my passengers were.
The angel led me out of the room and then uphill, along the left side of the entrance to the spas as you look from the monastery Zica. We walked a while without talking. But before long the angel said, “Dushan, you work with people, you have many friends. You have said, “All a man can do is eat, drink, get dressed, and have fun while he is alive. When a man dies he only needs about two meters of ground length-wise and a little dirt above—yes that is all.” You should know, Dushan, that death is not the end of life. Rather, it is a gate, a station, through which every human must pass. God created man from earth and breathed into him the spirit and thus humans became living souls.”
The angel ended this story as we reached the top of the hill. In that moment a dense cloud descended in front of us. We went into it and immediately began to rise. As the cloud carried us, the angel continued to talk. “Dushan, because of your kind heart which loves justice and honesty, the Lord has decided to have mercy on you and to show you the true road of salvation.” After these words, the cloud stopped, and the angel said, “Look at the earth!” I saw the whole earth, countries, cities, villages, rivers, seas and oceans, animals, and people. I recognized their faces very well. I then turned toward the angel and saw behind him many other angels with trumpets standing in three rows. They glowed with an enormous intensity and were beautiful beyond description.
My guide then said, “Dushan, look down to earth and you will see how the dead shall rise when the archangels sound their trumpets and the Lord Jesus Christ comes to earth to judge the living and the dead!” When I turned my eyes downward, the archangels sounded their trumpets. At that moment graves started to open and the dead began to come out of them. I was surprised, but I was much more surprised when I saw men, women and children coming out of rivers, seas, fires, from animal jaws, and from many other places where they vanished from their earthly life. I was speechless but the Angel explained these events to me. “Dushan, why are you surprised? At the sound of trumpets they return to life just as they ended their lives on earth, regardless whether they were swallowed, burned, or eaten by animals … in the presence of God everything is possible, and nothing is dead; in His presence everything is alive!”
I was also surprised to see on each forehead a piece of paper with writing on it. Some papers were filled, and others had very little writing on them. I wondered what the writing was, but before I had a chance to ask, the angel answered that question. “The written text describes the deeds from theirearthly lives and with them they will appear for judgement before the Lord Jesus Christ.” He also mentioned that all their thoughts were written there, too, so that nothing remained concealed. Among the resurrected I saw my relatives, friends, neighbors, and many acquaintences whom I met over the years. I was very glad to see them, and they were very happy to see me. They stretched their arms and spoke to me, but I could not hear a word. Judging by my relatives and friends I concluded that they were grouped into families, because relatives stood beside each other. Then the angel told me, “We must continue our journey, but we will come back to this place later.”
After these words the cloud moved in the easterly direction and higher. As we moved I saw a lot of people, looking like glowing shadows, moving around us in all directions. Their arms, legs, heads, and faces were easily recognizable. I wondered who all these people were when, as if he read my thoughts, the angel said, “These are not humans, but only human souls. God is the Light, and after creating humans from earth, He breathed His spirit into them. Humans then became living souls, which is why the souls glow. When a soul leaves a human body it retains sight, hearing, speech, memory, feelings and some other features which it had when it was in the body.” He also told me that the soul is present in every part of the body and that it is the moving force of the whole organism. Without the soul there is no life in the body. Then he explained to me that when the soul leaves the body, it re-lives its earthly life in the next forty days. Everything the soul has done, said, or thought is reviewed, and after forty days it goes to heaven to be judged and sent to the place it deserves.
We concluded our observation of resurrection of the dead and our conversation on human souls. The cloud took us still higher. We travelled through the cosmos which is impossible to describe. Its complicated and frightening appearance constantly caused such terror in me that I continuously pressed against my angel.
These fears practically disappeared when we arrived at a beautiful meadow surrounded by a huge fence, resembling a wall without visible beginning or end. On that fence was a gate in the shape of the Cross. To the right of the gate stood an angel-guard. The whole fence and the gate in particular were beautifully decorated and shiny.
At this place, which I do not know how to name, were many of those souls I saw while travelling through the cosmos. Some were shinier than others. There were many angels around them, but also many demons in monstrous shapes. The demons tried to prevent souls from getting through the gate after the souls obtained permission to do so from the angel-guard. I could not understand this scene and asked myself why some souls stood in groups, why this, and why that. Again without hearing my questions, my angel answered, “Dushan, you could not endure it if you were told everything.” Then he led me through the gate. (to be continued…)