So, I had put Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom on my “to read” list quite some time ago. It kept recycling there and I’d see it as I ran through other, perhaps more interesting (less thought provoking) books. I knew it would be a read that would cause me to pause and even think about something deeper than a plot line. I had no idea the impact it would have.
I have been on a book reading kick it seems these past few months. Goodreads is awesome to find things your friends are reading, keep up with books on your “to-read” list and to get ideas for new books. And, although I was vehemently opposed to the idea of an “e-book”, once I bought a Kindle and started using it…I haven’t looked back. I think that both of these finds has led me to read books that I wouldn’t normally read, well outside my comfort zone. But, that’s a gift really because I have found incredible reads when I least expected to.
I finally got tired of reading so many other book club type books – I tend to like memoirs and felt that while I was trying to expand my horizons, I wanted a deeper, honest book. And I found all that and more in this book. Which, by the way, was not a long read or particularly complicated. It is a story of faith, compassion and relationships.
I had never read any of his books (no, not even Tuesdays with Morrie) and so I did not really know what to expect. While the story develops around his researching and development of a eulogy for his (still alive) rabbi, it becomes more about his own sense of faith. It intertwines times spent in conversation with the rabbi as well as local Detroit Pastor Henry Covington. Covington is a reformed drug addict and ex-convict who ministers to a mostly homeless congregation in a poor, downtown church. The differences in the two men’s lives, history, ministries, religions and faith really does take you down a road that involves a sense of your own faith and how simple faith can actually be. As Albom put it, “…as is often the case with faith, I thought I was being asked a favor, when in fact I was being given one.”
I was struck with how simple the stories are, how obvious some of the insights are and how he inspires faith, not necessarily religion. He insists that “faith is about doing” and focuses on the secret to happiness, which is to be both satisfied and grateful. “If we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love, and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business. Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight. We will never wallow in the agony of ‘I could have, I should have’. We can sleep in a storm. And when its time, our goodbyes will be complete.”
Its lessons and insights are still rattling around in my brain. And to me, that signifies a pretty incredible book.