Imagine calling God directly on the phone...What would you say to Him? Or Her? And what do you think God might say back to you? This unique spiritual memoir is framed by twenty-one interviews ranging from a death row inmate to children, all of whom give inspirational and sometimes controversial responses to the over-arching question: "If I gave you God's phone number, what would you do with it?"
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What do a Cherokee Shaman, a Death Row inmate, an Afghani Sufi Mystic, a Catholic, a Jew, several praying kids, and Mare Cromwell have in common? They all feel strongly about who or what they think God is, why things happen the way they do, and what will become of us in the future. They question, praise and criticize their own spiritual beliefs in the hopes of better understanding themselves and others. In a world gone crazy with scandals, holy wars and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, people are pausing from their daily routines to wonder about the divine and mysterious nature of their Creator.
In If I gave you Godís phone numberÖ. Searching for Spirituality in America (Pamoon Press, 2002, ISBN # 0-9717032-0-5, $23.95), author and spiritual seeker Mare Cromwell interviews people from all walks of life, asking, "If I gave you Godís phone number, what would you do with it?" The answers form an open-minded look at all religions and viewpoints, which includes topics such as Heaven, Hell, reincarnation, prayer, speaking in tongues, angels, demonic possession and forgiveness.
"What I have learned in the journey of creating this book, doing all the interviews, listening to people from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds is that there are many paths to God. It is my sense that religion can take us part of the way to being "awake" and "connected" with God but spirituality is where we really try to feel God within us," says Cromwell. The importance of being in touch with our spirituality, or lack thereof, and understanding other religions and spiritual ideas are among the many topics discussed candidly as differing views come together to form the rich tapestry of Americaís faith.
Mare Cromwell is a writer, poet, gardener and environmentalist. A spiritual seeker for many years, she holds a Masters in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan. A professional gardener and environmental speaker, Cromwell leads talks and workshops on spirituality, environmental sustainability and the practice of simplifying oneís life. For more information on Mare Cromwell or her book, If I gave you Godís phone numberÖ. Searching for Spirituality in America, please visit www.tocallgod.net.
Jasmine Hisha, age 44
If you tried to give me Godís phone number, I have to tell you that I already have it. And I use it. I use it every day. ÖI talk to God every day about whatever is on my mind. It might be my husband, my daughter, my dog, my cat, my friends, whatever is on my mind that day. And He talks back to me. Thatís what makes it fun.
Eric Rosen, age 21
Iím not sure what I would do with Godís phone number. I get this image of God sitting behind a desk and answering calls with a phone headset on.