In 1995 while visiting Toronto on business, the author, an MBA consultant to Fortune 500 companies, found herself questioning her lifestyle while attempting to unwind in a sauna. The out-of-body experience that occurred—her first and only such experience—made her feel alone. Johnson reached out to the light, asking “take me now.”
Even if her request meant death, Johnson knew she needed to make some changes in her life. Instead of death, she faced “a review of my life, as if I was in a movie theatre.” A voice, “without judgment,” came to her telling her the ways in which she “could have chosen to be better.” Choosing to baptize herself, Johnson went back to her hotel room with “an incredible urge to type.” Energy came to her in the form of the “punctuated letters” she shares on these CDs, and led her to use her formidable verbal and dramatic gifts, which she had fostered for her consulting work, to form a ministry designed to lead others to the Spirit.
Johnson, who describes herself as “linguistically oriented,” loves the sound of words. She understands that the Spirit comes to individuals in the ways those individuals relate to the Spirit. For her, the Spirit has always come in the form of passionate epistles; for others it may be through music, art, gardening, dance, or other venues. The individual must be open and vulnerable, willing to accept the power of “Yes!”
After her conversion, the Reverend Johnson founded Inner Light Ministries, an omnifaith spiritual community that has grown to more than 1,500 people in northern California. The ministry is dedicated to the belief that individuals have the capacity to shape and reshape personal relationships, social institutions, and global affairs. Johnson also fosters the belief in direct communication with God, believing it is possible for the layperson to have a personal relationship with the Spirit.
The fifty epistles included can be interpreted as a self-help guide to finding the sacred. Loosely organized into categories—Our Personal Connection to the Divine; Spiritual Identity; Principles in Action; and Room Enough for All—the letters encourage listeners to become more open to communion with God. Johnson explains how accepting “Yes” helps people become more compassionate, and how accepting the sacred can help people cope with the stresses of modernity.
Johnson’s reading style is lively and dramatic. She wisely includes the occasional homily and humorous anecdote into her retelling of her life and conversion story. The CDs are punctuated by music—a spiritual/blues fusion reminding the listener of Johnson’s roots. The author’s body of work—in books, television, and movies—has earned her a loyal following and The Sacred Yes seems likely to introduce her work to new fans while also pleasing her old fans.
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