Saturday, August 21, 2010

Have a Little Faith - Mitch Albom

Book club book for August. I’ll admit it…I was not thrilled about this pick. I had read The Five People You Meet in Heaven and had not been as impressed as I felt I should have been from a NYT Bestseller. And it left me feeling a little unsettled.

So I began Have a Little Faith with trepidation. When the first chapter or two didn’t really catch me, I was really worried I might not be able to get through it. Then it picked up. It got my attention. I connected. And I ended up really enjoying it and thinking about my own faith and the faith of others.

This story begins with a request. From a rabbi to a congregation member. From “the Reb” to Mitch. A request for a eulogy. That sets Mitch Albom out on a journey to discover more about Rabbi Lewis. Which becomes a discovery of faith – the rabbi’s, Mitch’s, and others in the world. And, ultimately, Mitch discovers many things about himself.

It was a very satisfying read. Short chapters. Once it got going – it was easy to breeze through…until there was a phrase that grabbed me and caused me to stop and ponder. I enjoyed the contrast between the Jewish faith and other faiths and the concept of building a community. I learned a lot about the Jewish faith (easily done since I knew next to nothing going into it). Was reaffirmed in some of my Christian beliefs. And again felt a longing for true community.

The only thing I disagreed with is the conclusion which eludes to all religious paths leading to God and whatever is good in the hereafter.

Takeaway Quote: “And it hit me, finally, that this was the whole point of my time with the Reb and Henry: not the conclusion, but the search, the study, the journey to belief. You can’t fit the Lord in a box. But you can gather stories, tradition, wisdom, and in time, you needn’t lower the shelf; God is already nearer to thee.”

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