Why Are There Monkeys? (and other questions for God)
In 1975, after dabbling with drugs, the author had a near-death experience. Sensing herself to be in the presence of God, she was able to pose to Him a number of questions that I suspect many of us would choose to pose to Him if we found ourselves in a similar situation. At the time of this occurrence, she did not consider herself a big believer in God. So, the fact that she seemed to be standing at his front door came as a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless, she had many questions in mind for the Almighty. Not least of which was did God create us. She also wanted to know if we have free will, is there life after death, and does He hear our prayers? By the end of her encounter, she had one last question for God, and through this question, she realized some truths about her life and, as a result, changed some of her behaviors and circumstances. All of which gave her a sense of comfort and a feeling she wasn’t alone.
Ms. Jones presents an interesting account of her near-death experience in which we hear not just her questions but God’s answers as well. I will admit that I was expecting this book to be somewhat funnier than it was. I did, however, laugh quite a few times. For example, when God admits he doesn’t believe in Atheists. Also, I’ve never stopped to think that ancient miracles, as the author so clearly points out, tend to be more miraculous than modern-day ones. We might hear today of the face of Jesus on a piece of toast but never the parting of large oceans or burning bushes that speak. And, I have to admit that I did like the kind and witty version of God she encountered.
I appreciate that she included background about her past and told how her encounter with God changed her life by the end of the book. I did wonder why she chose to do this so long after the fact. I also couldn’t help but feel while reading this account that an audio version might have made everything more dynamic and engaging. Because a few times I found the dialogue a little flat. Nevertheless, this is a book that will encourage other readers to think about the meaning of God and religion and what it is we seek from it. Luckily, a near-death experience won’t be required.
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