I shared this story about having a hotline to God when Jessica Mokrzycki of Ascending the Hills asked me some interesting questions about being a Christian in India. Please read my answers here. Jessica is one of the most and open souls I know…I admire her sincere spiritual quest…Thank you, Jessica, for making me look within to answer your questions.
Hotline To God
There was a simple Hindu priest who lived in Mathura. Once he had the chance to go visit the Pope at the Vatican in Italy. After traveling to the Vatican, he walked up the steps and through the halls of the opulent building where the Pope stayed. He looked in awe at the beautiful marble floors and majestic columns. Then he came into the Pope’s office and he greeted the Pope who was seated behind his desk. The Hindu priest sat nearby and they exchanged pleasantries. Then the Hindu priest noticed a red phone sitting at the end of the desk. So the Hindu priest asked what it was.“Oh, that’s my hotline to God,” replied the Pope. “Whenever things get too difficult and I need to have a personal talk with God, I give Him a call.”“Oh,” said the priest. “Would you mind if I tried it?”“No, not at all,” the Pope responded.So the Hindu priest picked up the phone, dialed the number, and sure enough, he got through to God. So he offered his respects and prayers, said he was very happy to talk to Him, and then hung up the phone after only five minutes. He was a simple priest and did not have much more to say to God. He then thanked the Pope for the privilege of using the special red phone.The Pope replied, “Oh that is quite all right. By the way, that will be $75.”“Seventy-five dollars?” inquired the Hindu priest.“Oh yes,” said the Pope. “You know, long distance charges. It’s a long way from here to God, you know.”So the priest pulled out his wallet and gave the Pope the seventy-five dollars.Several months later, the Pope had the opportunity to visit India, and it was arranged for him to come to Mathura and visit the little Hindu priest. So the Pope approached the little hut of the Hindu priest, ducking his head as he walked through the door. He sat in a chair in front of the little table where the Hindu priest was pleased to again meet the Pope. They exchanged greetings when the Pope noticed the same kind of red phone on the priest’s table as he had at the Vatican. So the Pope asked what that was.“Why, I also have a hotline to God,” replied the Hindu priest.“Do you mind if I use it?” asked the Pope. “I really have a lot on my mind.”“Please do,” responded the priest.So the Pope got on the phone and got a good connection and managed to get through to God. He offered his prayers, but then had many things to discuss. He talked about the trouble in the Vatican, the difficulties with the priests and legal charges in the United States, the changing attitudes of the congregation in England and Europe, and so on. Fifteen minutes went by, then a half-hour, then finally after nearly an hour he was able to put the phone down.Then he said, “Thank you very much. I feel a lot better now. I had so much to talk about. By the way, how much will that be?”The Hindu priest thought a moment and then said, “Two rupees.”“What,” the Pope replied, surprised at how inexpensive it was. “Why so cheap?”“Why don’t you know?” asked the little Hindu priest. “Here it is a local call.”
In times when religion has become such a dividing influence, I’m hoping that this joke doesn’t get misunderstood.
However, I’m re-sharing it to underline my faith in a country I am so proud to call my own. A country with a rich and very old history. A country that used to be the epitome of religious tolerance.
What happened to us? When did we become so insecure about our faith? When did start allowing politics to dictate our belief in a Universal God?When will we stop taking religion so seriously and start following God and His Compassionate and All-Loving Being?Click To Tweet
When will we stop taking religion so seriously and start following God and His Compassionate and All-Loving Being?
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This is beautiful. In a country suddenly divided by politics and religion, it is refreshing to see such a post. Also let me tell you that I wait for your Monday Musings because they never fail to make me think.
So much left unsaid there at the end. A generation ago, even a decade ago, we would not have needed to put disclaimers next to a fun joke like that. Today’s India is very different and those who deny it with talks of whataboutery and sarcasm do no favours.
There is no easy solution. I had hoped the generation below me would have more common sense with the world now at their tips (thanks to the internet, which we never had) and understand how similar we all are. instead, they’ve turned even worse, using it as a key tool of division and hate across the world.
I have heard that story on a lighter note.
But to your point, the problem is that we put a price on faith and religion. We start debating about who is better and what makes one the best. As soon as that comes in, nothing else matter. Have a good week ahead, Corinne!
Corinne I am biologically Hindu, grew up in a Buddhist state Sikkim, went to a Christian convent, my son goes to a Parsi school. This is possible only in India. If you ask me who is my God I won’t be able to reply because I have prayed to Shiva, Buddha and Jesus. And after marriage I stayed in middle East where I even kept roza (it was compulsory)…so I honestly have been multi-religious. Beautiful post. Lovely joke..i hope people take it in the right spirit.
I loved this post, and the beautiful spirit of this country of ours that is slowly being poisoned and crushed. I really hope we can stem the tide before it’s too late!
So thankful for local call access to the God of the universe!
The Unknown Journey Ahead
As much as I chuckled – I am from a different time, a time when it was OK to make jokes about religion that were not put downs (and yours certainly isn’t, at least not in my opinion!) The United States abounds in “A priest, a rabbi and a minister….” jokes from “the old days” Of course, beyond that “we can make jokes” facade there was also downright discrimination and hatred (and I felt that first hand growing up, as the member of a minority religion in the United States. ) That included me making a decision, over 46 years ago, to marry a man not of my religion (we are still married, by the way). We truly need – not just tolerance, but something more. I could use that hotline right now, by the way. Wonder what the charges to New York State are?
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com
Hi Corinne! That is a wonderful story and made me laugh. 🙂 I think we all sort of wish we had a red phone hot line to God but the truth (at least in my humble opinion) is that we really do have a form of it within…we just forget! And yes, let’s not to take it all, and ourselves so seriously. Kindness, love, compassion and a sense of humor or really important qualities! ~Kathy
You nailed it, Corinne. Its all in our faith. And we must be strong not to be disturbed by religion issues.
This story made me smile and also fill up with warmth and pride in my country. It breaks my heart to see it divided over things like religion. It is even more ridiculous given that all religions preach peace and harmony.
It’s so wonderful to find a sane voice in this country where mindlessness rules. Honestly we’ve not only lost our sense of humour but becoming increasingly divisive and intolerant of others’ beliefs.
God is really a Universal concept with a common thread that promotes love and respect towards all. Why do we humans allow disharmony in His name ?
Loved the story, but the post also made me sad. We have lost something very precious along the way. Will we get it back? As you say, there are no answers.