Thanks for checking out this site. As you look around, I hope you notice a couple of things. First, The Calling
is pretty intentional fiction, entertainment in the hopes of telling a story about some things that just shouldn’t be.
In a perfect world, religion wouldn’t be used to subjugate or wield power; priests, pastors, rabbis, imams and other spiritual leaders would inspire life and beauty in their communities. In an unstained cosmos, no nation, race or ethnic group would be abused or marginalized. There would be no genocide, acts of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. Governments and political leaders would coalesce to bring prosperity to their people, not collaborate on sinister plans to systematically destroy countless villages so that natural resources can be exploited. Such atrocities just wouldn’t exist.
But as we all know, none of us have zip codes in Utopia.
Writing this book was something I hadn’t ever planned on doing. It just happened when a new understanding of the decades-long plight of southern Sudan collided with a growing conviction that I should perhaps offer my voice on behalf of what has been dubbed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Make no mistake, I knew that there were smarter, better-connected and more accomplished policy wonks and activists out there. And these changemakers were (and are) doing transformational work – work that requires that they cast daily the weight of their lives against human injustices.
But I figured an ordinary person like me could join in, too. So what if I didn’t have all the facts and know the ropes? I could learn and care and maybe even make a very small contribution along the way. Maybe I was even made for the shape of doing something like this…
Which brings me to the other thing I’m hoping you see as you look around here: I want you to know – and believe
- that you can make a difference, too (see “Get Involved”). Often we get to thinking that our lone voice, our singular efforts, couldn’t possibly yield change. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The power of change often comes from the collective “we” in this world. When one person decides that to be human means to care for the plight of humanity – whether we’re talking about the homeless in downtown Chicago or tribal communities amid the scorched woodlands of southern Sudan – a reformation seed is planted. When another joins in, then another and so on, global change begins to replace the inertia that often keeps our suffering friends bound to hopelessness and oppression.
I really hope you like The Calling. I hope you find the story both compelling and disturbing enough to work for change. I hope you think it a worthy demonstration of art imitating life, a dire kind of life that most of us have trouble bending our minds around. Just so you’ll know, any proceeds that come to me from the book are being donated (see “The Book”) to the aid, rebuilding, advocacy and repatriation of southern Sudanese communities. I’m not telling you this to sound impressive in any way (given the circumstances, this simply seemed like the right thing to do). I’m communicating it so you’ll know that the money you spent on entertainment is going to do things that can impact our world one dollar, one life, at a time.
Photography by Thomas Campbell
Stained glass window and book cover design by Olga Lagounova, design inspired by Bovard Studios, Inc., replicating design aspects of ancient icons (www.bovardstudios.com).