Friday, April 2, 2010

'He sleeps in a storm'

I am reading the new book of Mitch Albom.

Author of Tuesdays with Morrie, Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day, his latest novel Have a Little Faith was the perfect companion to the Lenten season.

I have read all of Albom's novels. And have a little faith is his best.

Perhaps, it has come at no better time when we come to grips with our faith. The conversation between Albom and his dying rabbi is an awakening to what inner faith many of us lack or what many of us lost.

Timely and moving are two words that best describe the 254 pages book that drove me to a deeper awareness of my humanity in this world.

The book begins with a task. The 82 year old rabbi has asked Albom to deliver a eulogy for him when the "reb" dies. Here, Albom seeks out to find, not only the sotry of life of the rabbi, but his life and many of those intertwined during his search for the right words that would fittingly describe one of the greatest eulogies.

The story spans 8 years between two men - the rabbi Albert Lewis and pastor Henry Covington. Their stories would cross paths in Albom's search for the words, and the meaning to life and happiness.

On page 93 is a short excerpt.

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, and suddenly, in the middle of the night, a powerful storm rips through the valley.

"Awakened by the swirling rain and howling wind, the owner leaps out of bed. He calls for the 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 and are wrapped in tarpaulins.

"He races to the silo. The doors are latched, and 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 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 it's time, our good-byes will be complete."

There will always be stories of despair and inspiration. And Albom puts reality into perspective by putting meaning into having a little more faith. As the story draws to a close, Albom finds that the lives of two men from two different religions are paths that profoundly find something bigger than oneself.

Have a Little Faith
is a book about a life’s purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man’s journey, but it is everyone’s story.

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