Neale Donald Walsch grew up fearing God, especially after his mother, a neighborhood mystic, was caught reading cards for a friend. His mother was "trafficking with the devil," according to Walsch's deeply religious aunt, and as a result, "God will send her straight to hell."
That was the start of a relationship born of "fearship," as Walsch calls it. In Friendship with God, Walsh speaks to the struggles he's had learning to see God as a true friend rather than a punishing judge. Like his immensely popular Conversations with God series, Friendship with God is written mostly in dialogue format, modeling how anyone can converse with God. What makes the book especially accessible is Walsh's humble voice that gently addresses most people's confusion and doubts. For example, Walsh talks about feeling squeamish that God knows the shameful secrets of his life. In response, God points out that Walsh has shared his dark secrets with friends and lovers. So why not share these truths with God, who has never judged or punished him, and never will? These types of tender and reassuring conversations give readers the courage to begin their own private dialogues with the divine. --Gail Hudson [via]