Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Why I Left Adventism


This is the letter I sent to my family, friends, former students and everyone I knew when I left Adventism officially on September 17, 2002. I'm posting it now (I should've thought of it earlier!) for a friend and for anyone who's interested. The first part is an introduction in simple English for former students in Japan. Blessings in Jesus! -RR (8/20/2006)
_____________________________________

Hi,

This is Ramone Romero. I was a missionary at SDA for one year. But I have left SDA now.

I wrote a long email below that explains why, but maybe the English will be a little too difficult.

I love Jesus very much. I have learned many things while I was back in California. And I am getting to know Jesus more and more. I am TOO excited! I can't stop smiling! He gives me so much joy!

I learned many of the basic ideas of Adventism (SDA) and I don't agree with these ideas anymore. SDA teaches about Jesus, but they also teach other things. They add things to Jesus like the "law" and a lot of rules. But Jesus says that He is FREEDOM and JOY. He is REST. :)

So now I am not Adventist (SDA) anymore. I am happy to be a regular Christian now. I belong to Jesus! I belong ONLY to Jesus! And I am soooo happy! I want you to know Him! I want you to know His joy, His love, His rest!

Bless you!
In Jesus' love,
Ramone Romero

***my chotto muzukashii email, gomen-ne**
_____________________________________

"Why I Left Adventism"

Hi,

I imagine that if you read the subject line, the title of this email, then perhaps you are a little confused, worried, or concerned.

I've been Adventist all of my life. But I am leaving now.

If you know me, then you probably know that I love Jesus very much. I'm a Jesus-freak. I can't get enough of Him. So why am I leaving "the church?"

Over my years growing up in Adventism, I was taught many things. I learned that SDA was the "true church" and that we had an important message to tell to the world and to the rest of Christianity. I learned that we had a special day of rest, and that keeping that day of rest would become very important at the end of the earth's history.

I was taught about Jesus, and I was told that we are saved by Him, by faith. But there was very little joy from this. Most of our joy came from being the "true church," from being right. The "truth" was the special things that our church taught. And really, knowing Jesus wasn’t quite enough--you had to know the "truth," too. Because the "truth" was going to be a special test for all people at the end of time, and if you didn't know the truth, then you would be deceived.

These teachings vary in Adventism depending on where you are. There are many "liberal" and "conservative" areas. Some places teach Ellen G. White, some places don't. Some places teach the traditional things that the church was founded on, some places are more interested in Jesus' grace. Most places have a mix of all these things. But in all of the places, we can agree that we have a special, unique "truth."

I didn't receive the gospel (the good news of Jesus' grace) really until after I finished 12 years of Adventist education and entered college. Then I began hearing some of the gospel. It wasn't very loud and clear, but it seemed like it was supposed to be the center of our faith. Yet in my previous 12 years of Adventist education, I only remember the Law, the Remnant, the Health Message, the Mark of the Beast, the Sabbath, and that we had to stay away from "worldly" things. I grew up believing that everything SDA taught was from the Bible, that these were the important teachings God wanted us to know.

While I was a missionary here in Osaka, Japan, I began learning the foundation of Adventism. I studied the "proof-texts" in the Bible and began to learn how we developed our unique doctrines. When I returned to LaSierra University, I began my own research into Ellen White and parts of Adventist history. While I was studying, I discovered 1888.

This will probably not be familiar to many Adventists, especially in liberal areas. In 1888, two ministers began saying that the Jesus' righteousness was the most important thing. Most of the leaders at that time rejected that message because it seemed to threaten the special, unique truths that Adventism was based on.

When I found this, I was excited. Here was something in our history that we had missed, a place that we had messed up when God was trying to speak to us. All we had to do was go back and find what we missed, and repent for resisting God. I wondered why the institution had made so much effort to ignore this mistake in our history?

While I was researching, a friend of mine found a prophecy on the internet written by a lady named Hazel Holland in 1997. But just before I read her dream, I had a shaking.

One night at the LaSierra computer lab, I read an investigative website on Ellen White. In the 90's, I began hearing things once in awhile about plagiarism--about Ellen White copying someone else's work and printing it as her own. Like most good Adventists, I kept my faith in what we taught and I decided that people who said those things were usually bitter or angry at SDA for some other reason. But when I finally looked at one particular website, the information was just too much to ignore. I couldn't rationalize it away any more. There was much more than plagiarism. And the most disturbing part was that over the years, the institution tried to keep it hidden. When people in the institution tried to expose it, they were usually told that they had to leave their jobs.

The evidence was too much for me. I left the computer lab and fell down on some stairs outside. I wanted to run away and disappear in the woods. You see, I had just finished my year as a missionary in Japan. I had taught the Bible, SDA truths, and Ellen White. I taught honest people that these things were the truth, that this was what God wanted them to know. And now, it all looked like it was a lie. The worst part was that for that moment, "Jesus" fell with Adventism. Like most Adventists, I believed that everything we taught was from God, and that Ellen White was God's prophet, writing God's words. If she was false, and everything she wrote was Biblical, then the Bible must be false. I can't describe the sickening fear that I experienced at that time.

So I prayed. I wasn't sure if God was real, but I prayed anyway and tried to forget about what I'd read. Then I began to read Hazel's prophecy. At first, I was cautious about what I was reading. But then my heart began to pound. I began seeing my whole experience in Adventism from a new perspective--God's perspective! He knew that things had been hidden. He knew that when I was growing up, I saw many things inside the church that didn't seem right, but that I wasn't able to talk about it because I was told that nobody was perfect and that it was wrong to criticize God's church. But as I was reading, I began to know that God's heart cries for His children! He loves us, and He knows all the things we go through! He sees all the hidden pains that we often are not able to recognize and cry about. He hears all of His children's cries.

I was so excited, I printed out Hazel's dreams and their interpretation and I stayed awake all night reading it. Then I emailed the director of that website for her email. Then she emailed me back and told me she lived five minutes away from LSU! So I went to go visit. I was more than a little cautious and nervous. I was taught to fear deception. I was told that the very elect would be deceived (in other words, making them "non-elect"). So I did what any Adventist trained in the doctrines would do: I asked her about the Sabbath. After all, it was going to be the test of our loyalty to God in the end, right? She said something I never heard before. She answered with the Gospel. "If Sabbath is the test at the time of the end, then we are saved by works, not faith. Keeping Saturday is a good work, but we're not saved by works, we're saved by faith in Jesus alone." And Jesus' salvation is the same today, yesterday, and forever. He doesn't change. We're not saved by our works. We can trust Jesus to save us, to protect us, to take care of us, and to shield us from deception. Well, this gave me something to think about!

I began studying on my own. I began to learn that I could trust Jesus. I could take Him at His Word.

"No one can snatch My sheep out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand." (John 10:28-29)

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24)

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? ...neither angles nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers... nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1st John 4:4)

"There is no fear in [His] love. Perfect love [agape-God's love] drives out fear..." (1st John 4:18)

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1st John 5:13)

And then I read Psalm 91! The whole psalm talks about the time of the end and how we will be safe resting in Jesus! But didn't I need a special truth? Didn't I need a special teaching? No! Salvation even in the end is still by faith in Him! I can trust in the power of His hand to protect me!

So I continued reading the Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me all over again. And He really began to show me some things I had never read before!

There were things about the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath in the Bible that I was never shown in the Adventist way of reading the Bible. Adventism taught me that the Ten Commandments were the character of God, eternal moral principles (including the Sabbath) that would be forever, even in heaven.

To defend these ideas, the favorite text was Matthew 5:17--

[Jesus said] "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Well, first I began to see that the "Law and the Prophets" didn’t just mean the Ten Commandments, but it meant the whole Old Testament! (Sometimes it was called "Moses and the Prophets"--see Matthew 11:13, Luke 24:44, etc.)

Second, I learned that heaven and earth will pass away!

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away!" (Revelation 21:1)

Third, Jesus said that He came to "fulfill" the Law and the Prophets. Usually in English we think of this like He is saying that He came to "keep" the Law. However, that's not what 'fulfill' means in this text! It's the same Greek word that the New Testament uses when Jesus 'fulfilled' a prophecy. For example:

"This happened so that the Scripture might be fulfilled which said: 'They divided My garments among them and cast lots for My clothing.'" (John 19:24)

The Law was not only something that Jesus 'kept,' but it was something He fulfilled! Fulfilled? What could that mean?

I ran across a most peculiar text in Exodus 34:28.

"Moses was with the Lord forty days and forty nights... and He wrote on the tablets the words of the Covenant--the Ten Commandments."

The Bible actually calls the Law--the Ten Commandments--the "Covenant" that God had made with Israel when He brought them out of Egypt. (See also Exodus 19:1-6, Deuteronomy 4:13, 5:3, 9:9, 9:11, 9:15, etc.)

I remembered reading in the New Testament and in Jeremiah about God giving us a "a New Covenant... NOT like the one He made with Israel when He brought them out of Egypt." (Jeremiah 31:31, Hebrews 8, 9 & 10, 2 Corinthians 3:6-18)

What did this mean? Adventism taught me that the Old Covenant was only the sacrifices, not the Ten Commandments. But the Bible says clearly that the Ten Commandments are the very foundation of the Old Covenant itself!

I couldn't rationalize away these Biblical passages that clashed with Adventist doctrine. So I let the Bible speak for itself, and passage after passage began opening up. Where I used to read cautiously in Paul's writings about the Law, the confusion now disappeared in the face of Jesus. I didn't have to rationalize and carefully explain away large portions of the New Testament anymore. I could take the Word at its word. The Ten Commandments simply aren't forever, just like heaven and earth--which will pass away and be remade. The purpose of the Law, as Paul wrote in Romans 3:20, was to reveal the knowledge of sin, not the character of God or the way of life in the time of the end. The Law of sin and death is not forever. But Jesus Christ is forever!

My whole life has changed since the Holy Spirit entered my life and began to bring me closer to Jesus Himself. I have looked at Jesus and I have compared the Adventist distinctive doctrines with the Bible, and I have seen the differences. And I want Jesus.

When I used to have a "revival" time in my life as an Adventist, often I would try to start reading an Ellen White book. Or I would try to read the whole Bible. Basically, I would study very hard. I would try wake up early and read every morning. That was how I unconsciously thought I could get closer to God and be more like Him.

Now, things are much different. I am full of more joy than I have ever known in my life. Jesus is wonderful. He never stopped sending His Spirit to talk with His children, just like He spoke to them in the book of Acts. The gifts don't come to perfect people. Instead, they come to people who trust in the grace of Jesus alone! They come to those who are daring enough to ask Jesus for them and wait like He directed! (Galatians 3:2, Acts 1:4)

I had spent so much time as an Adventist studying and studying, as if trying to gain favor with God. Now, I rest in Jesus. The Father is well-pleased with Jesus. And Jesus has given me His favor! I can ask Him and I know He will answer. He's promised.

He has been revealing His love for me and the Father's love for me. He has been healing places in my life that I never thought He was able to heal. He calls me His bride, beloved of the Father. He says "You have stolen My heart" (Song of Songs 4:9).

He says that I am the temple of God. "Church" isn't a building or a membership in an organization. It is an identity. If you believe in Jesus, *you are* the "Church." This is not something that people can always see. We live by faith, not by sight. What people think isn't what's important. If a group of people say they are the "remnant" and try to prove it, who are they trying to prove it to? Whose opinion is the one that counts? God's!

"God's foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: 'The Lord knows who are His.'" (2 Timothy 2:19)

God's opinion is the one that matters. The whole "sealing" is not something that *we* see, because we live by faith. We can trust Jesus that He has sealed us by His blood and given us the Spirit of son-ship (Ephesians 1:13, Romans 8:15-16, etc.).

Many Adventists continue keeping the Sabbath as if it is an insurance policy for the time of the end, just in case Jesus' name isn't enough to save you. I realized that's how it was for me. Adventist theology taught it to me that way. That's how our church started, and that's where it built its foundation. Not on Jesus, but on the Sabbath (and the sanctuary, and the shut door, and the health message, and the state of the dead, etc. ... all of these things being the saving characteristics of the "true remnant church").

Most liberal Adventists don't know these things very well. Or if they do know them, then they often ignore them. They'll keep the Sabbath and maybe the vegetarianism, but leave the other things behind. However, these teachings are never very far away, because without these special "truths," the foundation of Adventist identity can't survive. Perhaps that is why the institution has carefully guarded its doctrines from scholars over the years? Maybe that's why so many of our own pastors and professors have been fired or have chosen to leave after the institution refused to let its foundation change after Biblical tests showed it to be faulty?

Yes, Adventism is changing, and often for the better. The Gospel is getting preached more and more, especially in the liberal areas. But following Jesus means leaving things behind, particularly "self." We're still trying to take the Adventist unique foundation with us. We want to bring our uniqueness with us, our special truth. Yes, we're teaching the Gospel more, but we aren't willing to let go of our foundation. And we don't realize that our foundation actually hinders and opposes the Gospel. It always has. The tension continues constantly, even today.

Over the years Adventism has taught that its special truths were Biblical. I have looked and learned, and I've found the "truths" not to be so true after all. I have looked at Adventist history, and I have seen how the institution has continued to cover-up these things in order to preserve its identity. For years we've been studying and studying, trying to attain the peace that really just comes from resting in the grace of Jesus. We've been working very hard. But if we give up our pride and rest in Jesus' own "right-ness," we will find that He Himself is our uniqueness. He is our special-ness. He is everything that we need! The Son is the character of God, not the Law! He is the fullness of the Godhead, and you have fullness in Him! (Hebrews 1:1-3, Colossians 2:9-10)

Sadly, it appears that way back at the beginning of Adventism, our forefathers were unable to make the sacrifice of their right-ness and trust in Jesus alone. So over the years, generation after generation has been raised believing that they needed more than the grace of Jesus, that the gospel itself was insufficient to save them, because that's what the "other churches" preached. We've been tired and burdened by the guilt of never being able to measure up to our own standards. That is because we've returned to the Old Covenant and fallen under the curses of the Law all over again. In returning to the Old Covenant weekly "rest," we've missed the true Sabbath-rest that comes in Jesus' salvation.

Many "keep the Sabbath" in our modern way, thinking that it pleases God. Many think that they will make Jesus unhappy if they don't keep the Sabbath.

But the Bible says that God doesn't judge us by the Law (the Old Covenant) because we are under a New Covenant. A covenant made between the Father and the Son. He loves us so much that He took our sin and has given us credit for His perfect life. The Father looks at us and sees Jesus! He has given us a New Covenant of grace. We aren't under the Old Covenant (the Law) anymore. Instead, we rest in Jesus. The Sabbath was a ceremony that He introduced to Israel to let them know about the rest from their works that they were going to have in the coming Messiah. He gives us rest from trying to please the Father, because the Father is pleased with the Son.

Jesus is rest!

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

So yes, I have left Adventism. I am having joy learning more about the covenants and the love of the Father in the Son. I don't want to hide anymore. I have tried talking about this in a subtle and sensitive way, but life is too short for me to be shy. And I don't want to hide my joy! I want you to know His joy, I want you to be filled with His Spirit, I want you to know the smile that comes from resting in Jesus!

Bless you as you rest in Jesus, the Father's love.

Joyfully in Jesus' rest,
Ramone


P.S. If you have ANY questions, if you couldn't read the whole letter, if you want to talk, anything, PLEASE email me. I will answer any question and I will be happy to pray with you. I just want to say that I still love everybody in Adventism and I will never stop praying for them. If you've related to or understood any of what I've talked about in this letter, or even if you disagree, please email me and let me know. If you've been shy of "going public" like I have, or if you've suffered under the many stresses of Adventist doctrine over the years, please email me. I may not have all the answers, but I promise to pray with you and cry with you. Our God is love, and He knows us and our hearts. There is no condemnation in my Jesus. :)

_____________________________________

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Psalm 91"



By Ramone - April 9, 2006

Back on March 16th, I sketched this in a small notebook after meditating on His Sabbath rest (that is, the total rest that we freely receive by faith in what Jesus Christ has done for us). I was reading some passages and hit a point when I couldn't study any further or go any deeper. Sometimes you feel like you're on the verge of understanding something but can't quite get it. That's usually when He's calling you to rest in Him and not in what you know or what you can possibly know! He brought me back to simply resting, simple rest, just resting in Him. It's all about Him. It's not about us or what we know. We rest in Him, under Him. Simply.

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.'
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart...

I grew up believing that the end times would be times of testing, when we had to know many things in order to pass the test, in order to survive, to be saved. Then when I came to rest in Christ in late 2000, I began to understand that He will keep us safe, that it's not our knowledge or good works that saves us, it's Him that saves us. Not my faithfulness, but His faithfulness will be my shield & rampart in all of the terrible times that must come. Psalm 91 stood out as a comforting, restful promise of His loving protection during the worst of times, even during the worst times to come on earth in its whole history.

As I read the third verse ("Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare"), I was reminded of a similar verse from a similar song, Psalm 124...

We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare;
the snare has been broken, and we have escaped.

I remember first coming across Psalm 124, reading that verse and realizing, that is what has happened in Jesus! That's what He's done for us! Because of what He has done in His death and resurrection, we have escaped sin, death and punishment! We have escaped the trap of the enemy! The snare of sin, the power and trap of sin, has been broken, and we have escaped! We have been set free and have fled to the refuge of Father's mighty, loving & protecting arms.

I then realize that Psalm 91 is not only apocalyptic -- it's not only speaking of the rest He will give us in the end times of trouble, but it is talking about the rest He has given us now in Jesus! This is the rest He has given us by His death on the cross! This is what He's done in His Son on the Cross! He's covered us with His feathers, given us refuge under His wings; His faithfulness has become our shield because of what He has done for us. He has saved us.

*****

Resting "under His wings" means resting on the Cross, resting on His finished work. All that we have done, good or bad, can't give us rest. Nothing can bring us peace except what He has done for us. It's like Adam & Eve at the creation. They didn't do anything to enter God's rest... they entered it by no effort of their own. It was God's rest, and they freely received it. In the same way, we have received rest (peace, reconciliation, relationship & salvation) with God not because of what we have done, but because of what He has done on the Cross.

We rest on the Cross, clothed in white by Him, clothed in the gift of His righteousness. I painted the white clothing and thought maybe it should look like a robe or shirt & pants, but I left it because it looks like pajamas! And that's right! We're resting in Him! He's given us His righteousness, the garments of peace & rest with God. When I know Him, when I forget all my junk, this is where I am, curled up on His Cross, under His wings, knowing only that His love surrounds me. And I want to sleep there and stay there forever!

*****

It took me some time to understand this picture. I thought maybe the orange, red & yellow background was like the trouble of the end times, but He said, "No, it's all My love for you." I wondered about His eyes and the crown of thorns, and the white starry or snowy stuff.

His closed eyes reminded me of how He slept in the boat while His disciples feared for their lives because of the violent storm. He was at rest, and they were all safe even though they didn't know it -- because He was in the boat with them! He knew they were safe in Him & Father so much that He could sleep like a baby. Because of what He's done for us, we too enter that rest, that joy & peaceful acceptance that He has in His Father; we enter the loving joy & rest between Father & Son.

The crown of thorns seems harsh. If this picture of rest looks like it's in the sky or in space, then the crown looks like a terrible tear, like a scar through the sky; a terrible rip, wound & cut across the universe. And it is; it's the horrible pain of God the Father & Son.

The crown of thorns tells me that Jesus became a curse for us... thorns came from the curse of our first sin, but Jesus took these thorns on Himself. He took our sins on Himself, and He took away our curse. He set us free from the curse, from every curse...

We have rest, rest from the curse of toil & death as Adam & Eve had (and even more!) because of the precious blood spilled from His brow. The truest King of all humbled Himself and allowed us to mock Him & pierce His royal brow... so that He could give us rest from sin, sinning & penalty, to love us and make us His own.

The white, snowy or starry stuff was something I didn't understand but that needed to be there. I think it is like His blessings, the blessings of His grace. Like the stars, can we count the snow? Can we count how great & how many are His blessings to us in Christ, in His grace? We live and rest under the falling the snow of His grace. He makes us whiter than snow and covers us with His freely falling righteousness. His snow is ever, ever falling around & on us, even as we rest in Him.

*****

Finally when I looked at His love & rest in the picture, at His closed eyes, I thought of Him on the cross as He said, "It is finished." It was finished, He had redeemed us; He had bought us & brought us under His wings, into His love with the Father forever. He had opened the unceasing blessings & grace of Heaven on us forever. It is finished, and here we are.

Under Your wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust You; I know You will keep me,
You have redeemed me, and I am Your child.

Under Your wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How my heart yearningly turns to Your rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.

Under Your wings, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life's trials are o'er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I'm safe evermore.

Under Your wings, under Your wings,
Who from Your love can sever?
Under Your wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.

- from the hymn by William O. Cushing

"Sabbath of Thy Love"



By Ramone - February 11, 2006

Originally I sketched this on February 5th after being assaulted by some private temptation. As I sought the Lord for help, I suddenly realized I was seeking Him for rest. He gave me rest in Him, and I saw or felt this picture.

Remember playing games of "tag" when you were young? Sometimes there was a "safe" base or place. Maybe it was a telephone pole, for example. As long as you touched the pole, you were safe. This picture is kind of like that. I realized Jesus is my Sabbath rest, He's the "pole" I touch----but not just touch, I rest there against Him always and never leave!

Growing up, "Sabbath" to me was something that was temporary, one day a week; it also was not real rest, because we were all busy trying to keep it the "right" way or trying to focus on God. We didn't know that the Sabbath day of the Old Covenant was a shadow of resting in Jesus.

That night as I was tempted and I rested against Jesus, I realized that His love brings me true rest, real rest! And suddenly "Sabbath" became a beautiful word to me because of His love!

On the back of the original sketch of this picture I wrote the words this hymn.

"Home"



By Ramone & Yoko - May 24, 2005

Yoko saw this picture and I painted it from her sketch. She said: "The feeling when I saw it [the picture] was safe or secure... like the butterfly or any animal doesn't usually rest on our hands. But on Jesus' hand they feel 'Aaaah!' and sigh because they know where it's safe, where to go home."

"Rest"



By Ramone - January 20, 2005

The idea is "rest". It's His rest, resting in Him. Resting in the waters of Jesus' love. The words of Psalm 23 ("still waters") come to mind, but the literal translation is "the waters of rest." That's Jesus! Rest in Him! He is your rest and will put a smile on your face as you lay down and let Him float you.

Remembering Hiroshima

by Father John A. Siemes

August 6th began in a bright, clear, summer morning. About seven o'clock, there was an air raid alarm which we had heard almost every day and a few planes appeared over the city. No one paid any attention and at about eight o'clock, the all-clear was sounded. I am sitting in my room at the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Nagatsuke; during the past half year, the philosophical and theological section of our Mission had been evacuated to this place from Tokyo. The Novitiate is situated approximately two kilometers from Hiroshima, half-way up the sides of a broad valley which stretches from the town at sea level into this mountainous hinterland, and through which courses a river. From my window, I have a wonderful view down the valley to the edge of the city.

Suddenly--the time is approximately 8:14--the whole valley is filled by a garish light which resembles the magnesium light used in photography, and I am conscious of a wave of heat. I jump to the window to find out the cause of this remarkable phenomenon, but I see nothing more than that brilliant yellow light. As I make for the door, it doesn't occur to me that the light might have something to do with enemy planes. On the way from the window, I hear a moderately loud explosion which seems to come from a distance and, at the same time, the windows are broken in with a loud crash. There has been an interval of perhaps ten seconds since the flash of light. I am sprayed by fragments of glass. The entire window frame has been forced into the room. I realize now that a bomb has burst and I am under the impression that it exploded directly over our house or in the immediate vicinity.

I am bleeding from cuts about the hands and head. I attempt to get out of the door...
Read the rest at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mp25.htm

See also last year's tribute to Takashi Nagai and the Christians of Nagasaki.

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