Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Have a Little Faith: A True Story" by Mitch Albom

  Growing up I didn't do a whole lot of exploring of other faiths.  Actually, to be completely honest, I had some weird belief that even in talking to someone of a different faith I would somehow be forced to "convert" and lose my spot in heaven (crazy!  I know!).  However, over the years, especially over recent years, I've come to enjoy learning about other religions and why people believe what they do.  I don't spend my time trying to defend what I believe or convince others that what they believe is wrong.  Instead I listen and I share and I let God do the rest.  It's not up to us to "save" anyone anyway... I'm pretty sure God accomplished that on the cross (and it's really His work in our hearts that truly leads any of us to Him, we are just helpers along the way). 
  Anyway, I picked up "Have a Little Faith" at the library the other week and started reading it mostly because I remember enjoying "Tuesday's with Morrie" and I thought, "same author, same type of writing style, I'll probably like it" and I did.  In reality I enjoyed the interaction between Mitch and the "Reb" way more than the story of Henry, but I saw value in them both... even though they only really intersected in one way in my mind.
  From the Reb, I think I was reminded that we aren't called to judge, we are just called to love (I've proven time and time again that I am a horrible judge, yet I still catch myself assuming I have the right to do so and that my judgments are always correct, even though they aren't).  Through out the book the Reb is shown as this man of faith who is completely confident in what he believes and isn't afraid of the hard questions.  He is loving and compassionate and everything a good "Christian" should be, even though He's a Jewish Rabbi (To think how much we miss out on my shunning people of other religions). 
  Then There is Henry, this former drug dealer/user and convict who gave his life to Jesus and turned into a pastor.  You can sense the skepticism of the author as he first meets Henry and I guess that's really why the story of their relationship and interaction truly shows that you can't judge a book by a cover.  While I am not sure I completely agree with everything Henry believes... he talks a bit about how he's not sure he's given enough "payback" for all the wrong he's done in his life for God to let him into heaven... In his story I see the truly redemptive work of God and the proof that nobody is ever too far gone for God to reach!
  I'm glad I found this book, and this author, again.  I'm glad that I have become open enough to realize that a Jewish Rabbi can teach me just as much about the God I serve and how to truly walk out my faith, than my Christian friends and pastors.  It's a simple read... more story then in depth commentary of faith, but still totally worth the time it take to read.  So whether your Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Agnostic, ect.  I would say give "Have a Little Faith" a try... it might surprise you what you take away!

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