Mysterious 'Nun' Visits Pentecostal Man And Brings Him Back From Brink Of Death


Written by Michael H. Brown




July 1, 2003 - Reported in [Spirit] online newspaper. His name is Stan Rutherford. He was raised Pentecostal. Really, he detested religion. But for Stan, 50, who now lives in Lakeland, Florida, all that changed in 1991 -- when a mysterious "nun" saved his life during emergency surgery.

It's a story of miracles. It's a story of conversion. It's a story of a near-death encounter -- and alleged apparitions. We present it for your review at this time in history when there are so many dramatic occurrences (so many, in fact, that it's impossible to establish each one). For Rutherford, a native Virginian who had worked in construction, it started when he took a new job supervising a crew that cleaned phosphate mine facilities.

This was a hard-living man whose childhood had been partly spent in a foster home and who had a history of drug abuse and general immorality. Drugs. Women. Money. He had been raised Pentecostal, but by the time Stan was in his thirties, he didn't want to hear any of it. He couldn't stand the Name of Jesus. Cocaine, he says, was his "coffee"; he would snort a line of it before getting out of bed in the morning. "I did it before my feet even hit the ground," Rutherford candidly explained to Spirit Daily. "I was just wracked out. I was in construction during that time."

Oddly, a woman neighbor ran across him one day and told Stan that God had spoken to her about him -- had given a prophetic "word" -- during a prayer meeting. "She told me if I didn't change my ways by the time I was 45 years old that the Lord would pull His grace of mercy off me and I'd burn in hell," relates Rutherford in his southern twang. "It sort of stuck with me that someone would say that, because normally if you came in my face about religion, I'd slap you. I just hated anybody who had anything to do with God. Period. But for some reason I listened to this lady."

Then came the fateful day. November 4, 1991. Rutherford had just started his job supervising the phosphate crew in a town called Mulberry, a job that entailed going into phosphate tanks and scouring them with an extremely high-pressure hose. On the way to work, there was a foreboding, "like this black cloud, this terrible feeling like I was going to die," Rutherford recalls. "I even called my wife and told her that if I didn't see her any more, that I loved her, that she was the only woman I ever really loved. She begged me to come home. But I had a responsibility and I told her I thought I'd be okay."

He and his crew went up to the mines at about 7 a.m., and by quarter to eight "all hell broke loose." When Stan returned to one of the tanks after checking a crew, someone gave a signal to the mechanic and the mechanic kicked the high-pressure machine on, creating 3,500 pounds per square inch of laser-like water. "That hose broke loose," says Stan. "Now, it takes eight men just to hold that hose at 3,500 pounds. The custom was to chain it down to keep it in place. Well, they didn't chain it down. They tied it in place with a rope. And it broke loose."

In the chaos, Rutherford tried to save one of the men trapped on the scaffolding, knowing that the stream of water -- so powerful it created heat as it burst out of the nozzle -- could cut someone in half. At six feet and 250 pounds, a weight lifter, Rutherford was strong enough to handle most circumstances -- but not this one. The water slashed his left side from the back and cut through part of his body, hitting near the kidney area and coming out three inches away. "It didn't just hit me once," says Stan of the horrid experience. "It hit me three times and kept cutting into me. It blew me up against the wall with such force that it cracked my safety helmet. Somebody reached in and grabbed me by the foot and yanked me out. I was sitting there with my clothes ripped off and didn't know I was that hurt but then one of the men said, 'My God, Mr. Stan, I can see your guts.'"

Rutherford went to a clinic, where despite the circumstances a company doctor insisted that it was just a bad burn, that Stan would be okay, but three days after, Rutherford felt like he was having a heart attack. One of his legs turned black. An x-ray showed what look like "the stars in the sky" -- phosphate that had been blown into the organs of his body. "I had like thirty pounds of excess fluid and filth in my body," he says. "They put me in intensive care for seven days and then another room for another seven days."

It was not looking good. He had a kidney full of stones. One was half the size of a golf ball. Doctors were afraid to operate but did.

"I went in for the surgery. They gave me a shot and I was out. But what they told us later was that I had 'died' -- that I had awoken during the procedure and they tried to re-sedate me and I died.

"What was interesting was that during the time I was 'dead,' this little-bitty nun comes and touches me on the face, taps me on the face and says, 'Wake up. We have work for you to do.'

"I guess I saw her in the state of being unconscious. I don't know how to explain it, but when I woke up there was this little woman dressed in white and a kind of turquoise blue robe -- this little beautiful nun with these exquisite eyes. You had to see her eyes!"

Rutherford breaks down crying as he recounts it.

His emotion is because he believes the nun "saved my life" -- even though no one knew who she was nor how he had gotten into the recovery room.

Somehow, he'd recovered from what had appeared to be fatal unconsciousness. Against all odds, his life had been spared. He had been thought dead but was now fully cognizant.

As for the "nun," she was not of this earth, as we will see tomorrow...