Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Have a Little Faith

Book:  Have a Little Faith
Author:  Mitch Albom

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! If I had enough money, I'd buy this one (along with "The Noticer") for everyone I knew. 

This is the true story of Mitch getting an unusual request:  to deliver a eulogy for his rabbi from his old hometown.  He feels unworthy & insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago.  Meanwhile, Mitch becomes involved with a Detroit pastor - a reformed drug dealer & convict - who preaches to the poor & homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian & Jewish, African American & white, impoverished & well to do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similary in fighting for survival:  the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches;  the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep him & his church afloat.

These men touch on things such as how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God & the importance of faith in trying times...

In the end, as the rabbi nears death & a harsh winter threatens the pastor's wobbly church, Mitch sadley fulfills the rabbi's last request & writes the eulogy.  And he finally understands what both men had been teaching him all along - the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than youself.

My Rating:  5 skeins!!!!!!

I'm telling you - it was a wonderful read... I marked so many thing that just touched my heart... so this may turn into the longest post ever... but I want to remember these things I got out of this book
From a sermon by the Reb - 1975
"A man seeks employment on a farm.  He hands his letter of recommendation to his new employer.  It reads simply, "He sleeps in a storm".  The owner is desperate for help, so he hires the man. 
    Several weeks pass & suddenly, in the middle of the night, a powerful storm rips through the valley.  Awakened by the swirling rain & howling wind, the owner leaps out of bed.  He calls for his new hired hand, but the man is sleeping soundly. 
     So he dashes off to the barn.  He sees, to his amazement that the animals are secure with plenty of feed.  He runs out to the field.  He sees the bales of wheat have been bound & are wrapped in the tarpaulins.  He races to the silo.  The doors are latched, & the grain is dry. 
    And then he understands.  "HE SLEEPS IN A STORM"
    My friends, if we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love & 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 good-byes will be complete
When a baby comes into the world, its hands are clenched - right? (He made a fist)  Why?  Because a baby, not knowing any better wants to grab everything, to say "The whole word is mine!"  But when an old person dies, how does he do so?  With his hands open.  Why?  Because he has learned the lesson. (He stretched open his empty fingers) - We can take nothing with us.

What do people fear most about death?  I asked the Reb.
"Fear?"  He thought for a moment.  "Well, for one thing, what happens next?  Where do we go?  Is it what we imagined?  But there's something else"
What else?
He leaned forward.
"Being forgotten" he whispered.

I call Jesus the greatest recycler I know!  He lifts me up - he rearranges me - he repositions me!

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh!  The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.
-Robert Browning Hamilton

Nothing haunts like the things we dont say....

What I do here, every day for the rest of my life, is only my way of saying "Lord, regardless of what eternity holds for me, let me give something back to you.  I know it dont even no scorecard.  But let me make something of my life before I go....."And then Lord, I'm at your mercy"

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