Motorbikes and young men seem to go together, giving a reasonably inexpensive and exciting form of mobility at a time in a young man’s life when it’s great to be on the move. But accidents can happen so quickly, sometimes with devastating consequences. This is his story.
I was born in 1958 into a loving, hardworking, farming family. I grew up around tractors, lorries, and motorbikes. Dad had always driven a powerful motorbike, so it was natural for me to want one myself as soon as I was old enough. I passed my motorbike test on my 17th birthday and then Dad surprised me by giving me his own machine, a Triumph 500cc. My mates also had motorbikes, and we had a great time roaring about. I loved riding fast with the rest of the gang.
One evening we were on our bikes travelling on our way to the house of a friend in Upminster. Richard and his passenger, Andy, were two of my closest friends. They pulled over to buy some chips, and I carried on for about 300 yards, and then pulled over to buy some Chinese take-away. We all pulled away at about the same time to continue our short journey.
As I drove down the road with the bag of Chinese food held between my teeth I decided to turn right. Witnesses said that I had signalled by hand to turn right and then turned. However, unknown to me, my friends on their motor bike were about to overtake me at high speed. They accidentally hit me side on, bending my motorcycle frame in half.
At the point of impact there were two events. Observers saw the high impact crash, and then our three bodies flying through the air down the road. Then our three bodies lay there, still and lifeless.
But I experienced something entirely different. At the moment of impact, as if drawn by gravity, I fell immediately onto the road below me. I landed in the position of a sprinter, with one of my legs extending backwards, and the other leg bent under my body, with my arms straight, and my fingers touching the road surface. It was the position that sprinters take as they start their race, with their rear leg against a starting block, ready to explode into action. From that position I immediately got up and walked over towards a big tree at the side of the road. There I sat down under the tree, with my legs crossed, as we used to do at our Infant school.
I was totally unaware that I was no longer in my physical body. I had no pain, no fear, and no anxiety. I experienced absolute peace as I sat there under the tree. Looking up the road I saw a motorbike in flames.
Although it was dusk when the accident occurred I was in a place of light. I totally accepted the wonderful Heavenly feeling without question. Nothing was troubling me whatsoever. It was a very beautiful experience, and I was fully conscious of my surroundings. I was totally comfortable, sitting by the side of the road under the tree.
As I sat there, watching the bike burn, I suddenly became aware of a huge dark cloud that filled the sky, coming down from above me. I looked up and heard a voice that was gentle but powerful, and filled the sky. The voice spoke directly to me, “Do you want to take your crash helmet off?” My immediate reaction was a long, emphatic scream “No!”
The point I want you to grasp it that my scream started with me sitting under a tree in an entirely different place. The voice I heard sounded like the voice of God. We all had stickers on our crash helmets stating, ‘In case of accident, do not remove’. The question I had been asked, “Do you want to take your crash helmet off?” was a very specific question, bringing me immediate realisation of my circumstances, and I knew exactly what this question meant.
Immediately, I was back in my physical body, watching the ambulance light going round. A policewoman said that as she approached my body to see if I was alive she heard my scream.
Once I was in hospital they realised I had broken my right arm and leg and had quite extensive skin loss to various parts of my body. Initially, I was absolutely certain that I had not broken anything. After all, I remembered quite clearly walking without any pain. As I walked I had a spring in my step and I had sat under the tree and watched the bike burn.
The out of the body experience was more real to me than the doctors telling me that I had broken my leg. At the time I would have laid all my money that they were wrong. However, they were not wrong, and I ended up in plaster and spent a week in hospital. My parents came to the hospital on the night of the accident, and were devastated. My dad came up behind me as I lay on a stretcher and gently told me that my two friends had died. I already knew this, because this knowledge had somehow been given to me, to help me deal with the loss of my friends.
I had believed in God before the accident but obviously, after the accident I was absolutely certain of the existence of Almighty God! Although I recovered from my physical scars, my mental scars remained. I blamed myself for the death of my friends, even though that was illogical.
I knew only one Christian at the time, and she was my Aunt Betty. I thought she was a bit of a ‘Bible basher’ as she was always quoting scripture. Although deep down I knew that what she was saying was right, I argued with her when I saw her.
I opened my own Gym in 1979, and I was married by the time I was 21. I competed in two drug free body building competitions. After training drug-free for nearly six years I more that doubled my strength. I then stupidly started taking steroids to compete against other drug users. At the age of 27 I had entered my last competition, and my marriage was over.
I now had a new more powerful motorbike, and on the surface did not have a care about anything. But underneath I was more and more concerned about the side effects of drug taking on my mental and physical health. Then an injury to my left shoulder stopped me training completely. I decided to try more recreational drugs, believing that my incredibly strong willpower would prevent me from becoming addicted. After these two very crazy and destructive years I was just a shadow of my former self.
My shoulder was getting worse so I that could not train regularly. Girls and drugs were my life, and my life was one long party. My mum and dad wanted me to continue to run my own business, Stan’s Gym, but I was hardly ever there. I had chosen a life of drugs that I had always been against, and a lifestyle my mum and dad had always warned me against. Thankfully I had a great mum and dad who never gave up on me. Aunt Betty always took time to share her love of Jesus with me.
After a night out I came home in the early hours of a Sunday morning in April 1990. I lay in bed thinking about surgery. When I thought about the surgery I had hope, and wanted the best surgeon. I was willing to borrow money to pay for the surgery.
Suddenly I thought, in despair, that the surgery was going to take ages. I wanted it fixed right then, and I suddenly thought, “God knows all about me, He created me!” Instantly I cried out to God from my heart in repentance, begging for my forgiveness from all my sins in Jesus’ name. I then cried out, “Lord Jesus take my life” and at that moment the peace of God came and Jesus gave me a brand new life. I was conscious of God’s presence. God knew all about me, and I felt transparent before God. I received His love and forgiveness in Jesus’ name.
I then prayed, and asked God to heal my shoulder. I wanted to do the will of God! After speaking truthfully to God, and giving my life to Him, I went peacefully to sleep, knowing that my shoulder would be healed by the next day. To God’s glory, my shoulder was healed.
After Jesus saved me I was initially frightened to tell anybody what God had done for me. I did not want to mess up such an important message. Then, seven months later, an old friend, Mark, explained how he had also been saved by Jesus, and given a new life. Mark, a new Christian himself, explained some of the Scriptures to me so I could read them myself. Jesus promised His followers a power from on high, called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, to empower them to live the Christian life. I knew I needed the power Jesus had spoken of because I had told nobody except Mark that I had become a Christian.
Mark also warned me that the devil would try and stop us reading the Bible every day. He also told me that Jesus said I needed to be baptised by full immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He was right on both counts. I had to persevere in reading the Bible, and when I did receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit I was filled with joy and peace like I had never experienced before. Now my greatest desire is to tell others how they too can find peace and eternal life through Jesus the Messiah.
For information about Stan Earle’s ministry please write to:
9 Aveley Rd
The true story of Stan Earl 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.