I saw fire burning in God’s eyes — a “righteous anger,” as Christians like to call it. His mouth began to open. A vacuum of air seemed to funnel past me. He was either about to speak or He was about to vaporize me with some kind of holy hellfire, like a dragon incinerating an unworthy knight. Lucky for me, a voice, not fire, bellowed forth … “STOP TELLING PEOPLE I DON’T EXIST,” He roared.” — Joshua Steven Grisetti, from the book God in My Head
What would God’s first words be to you if you actually met God, face to face?
This month at the Patheos Book Club, we’re talking about an intriguing new book, God in My Head: The True Story of an Ex-Christian Who Accidentally Met God. Part spiritual memoir, part Near-Death-Experience (NDE), God in My Head is author Josh Grisetti’s account of his extremely close encounter with the Creator of the Universe while on an accidental drug overdose in the dentist’s chair. Seriously, another NDE book, you say? I know, I had the same initial reaction, but what makes this book particularly compelling and fresh is that unlike many NDE books, it’s told with a healthy dose of humility, humor, and irreverence. It’s kind of an everyman’s near-death-experience tale. And it’s extremely well-written and entertaining, at that.
An accomplished actor living in New York, Grisetti was raised in a conservative Southern Baptist family but drifted away from the faith in his teenage and adult years. No one expected to come face to face with God less than Grisetti, and when he did meet God, the conversation took a decidedly more “progressive” theological tone than the God of his upbringing. The experience was intense and profound — spanning what seemed to him 150-200 years and almost as many questions and answers –and led him to return with a renewed and much more expansive belief in God along with a feeling of rightness with the Universe. While he still hesitates to call himself Christian, mostly because of what he considers to be the negative association with the term today, he does believe God is out there and cares about us.
I caught up with Grisetti via Skype recently to ask him what his experience of the Almighty was really like (and why we should believe him!). Our video conversation is below. Check out the Patheos Book Club to read an excerpt from the book and what other Patheos bloggers are saying about God in my Head.