Opinion by Jim Denney, author of Answers to Satisfy the Soul
I once interviewed supermodel Kim Alexis at her home in Laguna Hills, California. Kim met me at the door, all smiles and warm California hospitality. She wore blue jeans, her hair was up in a pony-tail, and she wore little make-up. She quickly put me at ease and we talked about her childhood, her modeling and acting career, and her deep Christian faith.
Kim is also an athlete and a former marathon runner, and she told me an amazing story about her running coach, a man named Hank. It was Hank who persuaded Kim to enter her first marathon in Jacksonville, Florida. He ran beside her the entire race, holding her hand as they crossed the finish line.
Hank and Kim had known each other for about ten years when Hank was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent treatment and the cancer went into remission for a time, but it eventually returned.
The last time Kim saw Hank, she and her husband Ron were in Florida for a charity event. They met Hank and his wife Jody for dinner. “At one point,” Kim told me, “Hank leaned over and said, ‘Kim, it’s all through me.’ That’s all he said about the cancer. It was like he wanted me to know it was serious, but he refused to dwell on the negative. The next moment, he was talking and joking like he didn’t have a care in the world.”
I asked Kim how old Hank was at the time.
“Fifty,” she said. “He looked healthy. But over the next few months, the cancer just ravaged him. His weight dropped to ninety pounds and he couldn’t even walk. But he never believed he was going to die. I called Hank and Jody a number of times — they lived in Arkansas — and he’d always say, ‘I can’t wait to beat this thing so I can get out and run again.’ “
Not long after one of Kim’s phone conversations with Hank, she was in a Los Angeles studio, recording radio commercials. “A studio sound booth is very quiet,” she told me, “like a prayer chapel. I had about twenty scripts to read, and while I was recording the spots, I suddenly had the strangest feeling. I had a strong impression that Hank was in the sound booth with me, standing behind me. The feeling was so strong I turned around to see if he was there.”
I asked, “Was it just a feeling that someone was in the booth with you? Or was it specifically Hank?”
“Oh, definitely Hank,” she replied. “I knew it was him. I sensed his presence for ten, maybe fifteen minutes. The taping took about an hour, and as soon as I got out of the booth, I called my husband. I said, ‘Ron, is there something going on with Hank? I just had the strangest feeling about him.’ He said, ‘Jody just called. Hank died about an hour ago.’ And that was just when I had sensed his presence. I don’t know how these things work, but I believe he came to tell me good-bye, because we’d been such good friends.”
Kim’s experience is not scientific proof of the reality of the soul, the immortality of the spirit. But it’s difficult to discount or dismiss such an incident. This story affirms the words of Ecclesiastes 12:7, “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
A day is coming, and it’s not far off for any of us, when this perishable body will put on the imperishable, and this mortal body will put on immortality. On that day, death will be swallowed up in victory.
I’m looking forward to that day. Are you?
Note: You may also enjoy my op-ed piece on Walt Disney’s impact on the American space program. You’ll find it at the FoxNews.com website: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/walt-disney-deserves-credit-for-our-progress-on-the-moon-and-mars-not-just-mickey-mouse.
And don’t miss my interviews with Christian romance writer Robin Lee Hatcher (author of Who I Am With You and An Idaho Christmas: Past and Present), and Christian science fiction writer Kerry Nietz (author of Amish Vampires in Space and Fraught). Visit my website at Writing in Overdrive. See you there!
Note: Battle Before Time, the first book in my newly revised and updated Timebenders series for young readers, has just been released in paperback. Click this link to learn more.
And if you’d like to learn more about how to write faster, more freely, and more brilliantly than you ever thought possible, read my book Writing In Overdrive, available in paperback and ebook editions at Amazon.com. —J.D.
Jim Denney also blogs at Writing in Overdrive and Walt’s Disneyland.