Policeman Paul McWilliams never really gave a thought to where he would go to when he died – until he was knocked down by a car in 1990. Suddenly he knew that Hell existed – because he had arrived there! This is his story.
All policemen know that they have to be prepared for almost anything when they go on duty. I was on duty in London on a particular Sunday in February 1990. Just before midnight I was driving with my WPC colleague Linda, and we turned a corner. We spotted people fighting, and immediately went to break it up. As we stood on the zebra crossing, trying to restrain the people in dispute, a stolen car came rushing towards us at about 40 mph. It swerved to avoid hitting Linda, but hit me instead. That was the last thing I remember until I woke from a coma five weeks later.
When I came out of the coma I was told that I had landed 25 metres from the car, having hit my head on the vehicle, and sustaining a severe skull fracture. I then hit my head again as I landed on the pavement, causing multiple haemorrhages to the front of my brain and a massive haemorrhage at the back of the brain, which nearly killed me outright. The first male officer who arrived kneeled in the road to try and help me, and went home with some of my brains on his uniform! My legs were severely fractured, apart from where my leg had been protected by my police truncheon. It took the medics thirteen hours to put me together again, inserting metalwork into my legs. It sounds as though they would have had an easier job with Humpty Dumpty!
I am told that during the five weeks that I was in a coma I clinically died a couple of times. Apparently I was not expected to live, because of the extent of my head injuries. It was said however that if I did manage to pull through the head injuries could cause severe brain damage and even blindness.
My life had been fairly uneventful up to this point. God had certainly not figured in my life to any meaningful degree. My Gran had arranged for me to go to Sunday School occasionally when I was a young child, but it had made little impact, and I hadn’t picked up anything of significance about God or Christianity, and had stopped going altogether. As I grew up my interests were focused on things like cars and money – I was as far away from God as one could possibly be, without of course being deliberately evil.
During the time that I was in a coma I had a vision that would change my life, and my entire concept of Heaven and Hell.
I found myself standing in a place that I did not like one little bit. It was dark and cold, and I knew it was Hell. It was like being in a huge room, full of black oil – with a roof on it! I knew there was no way out. There were things moving under my feet, and I sensed that there was something coming to get me. I have heard people say that they won’t mind going to Hell, because they will be able to do all kinds of wicked things with no restraint, but it was not like that at all. I experienced just about every horrific feeling one can think of, and worse. I could feel evil all around me, and I desperately wanted to get out of that awful place. I have to say that it’s not a place where anyone would want to go. I could also hear mutterings and murmuring go on, from things that I could not see, but nevertheless, feared.
Suddenly I became aware of a slight glimmer of light above my head. Under normal circumstances I would never have noticed it, but because the place that I was in was so dark, any light at all, however dim, had an effect on the surroundings. I felt myself being pulled up and I was suddenly in a huge room with what looked like brown velvet on the walls. The back wall however was like a huge screen, and there was light coming from it. I could feel warmth in the room, which was a huge contrast to the coldness I had just experienced. And the love and hope that I felt was in direct contrast to the hopelessness and despair that I had felt in that other place. As I gratefully started to adjust to the change in the temperature, I saw a man walking towards me. I instinctively knew that He was Jesus, although He had never had a part in my life at all, and I rarely if ever thought about Him. But now He was walking towards me, and I felt this incredible feeling of love coming from Him.
He was not like some of the pictures that I had seen in childhood books, in which He was depicted with blonde hair and fair skin. He was in fact quite dark skinned. He was just a little shorter than me in stature, with a muscular body, and a Jewish face. He was wearing a sort of beige coloured robe, which went down to His feet, and a simple belt around His waist. When He got within about 10 feet of me, it was though I was engulfed inside a bubble which contained a love that was a 100 times greater than the love I had already experienced. There was so much love there. Standing alongside me, He put His hand on my shoulder, and also on my head, on the injury that should have killed me, and told me that He loved me and that I should not worry. I have since been told by my hairdresser that my head injury had healed so well there is no sign of where the massive fracture was.
Then he took me to what I can only describe as Paradise. It was wonderfully warm, like a summer’s day. Everything was perfect, with not a blade out of place, not one chewed up leaf – and the sky was perfectly blue.
There was also a full rainbow going right across the sky. Although in one sense it was just like Earth, with trees, animals and water, it was far more beautiful than anything that I could adequately describe. At this point, I knew nothing about the Bible, and did not that that the book of Revelation talks about a new Heaven and a new Earth.
The next thing that I remember was of falling or being catapulted through something that was very, very bright. It was like going down a well-lit motorway at night at a thousand miles an hour – but without any fear. Then I experienced pain, and woke up in my hospital bed in intensive care. I don’t know at what point I had the vision – whether it was at the beginning or middle of the five weeks I was in a coma, or whether it was right at the end. But when I woke up, I saw my sister sitting at the end of the bed, and said ‘Hello’, to prove to us both that I could think and see!
Many times my recovery has been described as a miracle. I had to retire from the police force, because of the high standard of physical fitness that they require, but I have still experienced a wonderful recovery. Although I still cannot run or kneel, I can still get around quite easily, in spite of the extensive damage to my legs.
But far more amazing than all of that, I now have a wonderful relationship with the resurrected Lord Jesus. He has changed by life completely, and the injuries that I experienced are worth it all for what I have gained through knowing Him.
I can honestly thank the man who ran me over! I believe that before my accident happened on that Sunday in 1990 I was on my way to Hell – without ever realising it. Now I know that I will go to Heaven when I die, and the wonderful thing is that everyone who invites Jesus into his or her heart can have that certain knowledge too.
The true story of Paul McWilliams is included, with kind permission, in the free e-book BEYOND THE FINAL FRONTIER which includes 27 similar true stories, and may be freely read and downloaded from this web site.