Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Have a Little Faith"

"Will you do my eulogy?"

"Will you save me, Jesus?"

Two questions. One by an aging Rabbi the other by a young African-American man.

Mitch Albom, author of the highly successful "Tuesdays with Morrie" has done it again. He has written a book that not only tugs on the heartstrings, but makes you contemplate exactly what it is you believe.

Albom beautifully weaves the stories of his Rabbi Albert Lewis and an African-American pastor Henry Covington. Over 8 years he spends time with each man listening, asking questions and observing these men of God.

Albom sees that these men who have devoted their entire life to serving God, really do have a "life"away from the people they serve. However, their hearts are NEVER away from those in their congregations. Both men love the people that look to them for direction, advice and hope.

As Albom walks you through this journey of faith, I can't help but think about Hebrews 11. What we Christians call the "Hall of Faith". Verse 1 says

"What is faith: It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." (New Living Translation)

Both of the men Albom had the honor to spend time with hoped in things they could not see. I sat in tears as I read Covington's testimony. You will too. God was and is so faithful.

This afternoon I read the rest of Hebrews 11. I read about Noah, Sarah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Esau. I read about Joseph, Moses' parents, Moses,and the people of Israel. In this chapter it says "By faith" before their name and then lists a portion of their life story. I had this overwhelming urge to write:

"By faith Stephanie......" in the margin of my Bible. What would someone write after my name?

What will my eulogy sound like? Will it shine light to my faith? Will my brief time on this planet bring glory to God Almighty? Will I walk by faith each and every day? Will I remember the things my parents taught me as a child? Will I do my very best to teach those things to my children?

Who would have thought that 250 pages would have sparked so many questions.

Hebrews 11 is an incredible passage, go read it later if you get a chance...however, I want to share what chapter 12 verses 1-2 says (New Living Translation)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven."

I have to say, God used this book in my life. He used it to ask me questions. Some were easy to answer, others were not so easy.

The reason for my faith you ask? That my friend is easy and I would love to tell you. It's Jesus Christ. He says in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

I would love for you to get this book when it becomes available on September 29 and let me know what you think!


Heather C said...

Sounds like a great read... thought provoking. Those kinds of books always challenge us to go deeper and investigate ourselves, as well as our faith - never a bad thing. :)

jodi said...

Sounds like a great one! I look forward to reading it.

Anonymous said...

I read it! I read it! I, like you, was privileged to receive an advanced copy of the book.

And BOY did it raise questions, as you so eloquently stated. I've been questioning my faith a lot over the past couple of years. I haven't felt like prayers have been answered, I've felt empty and alone. This book helped me renew a little faith that I had thought was gone forever. And for that I am forever grateful.

Albom also asks another question in his book that really made me think for a couple of days. That was, if you had 5 minutes with God, what would you ask him. I had to think long and hard on that one. My first thought was in regards to my dog that I had to put to sleep. I would ask God if I made the right decision when I did so. And because my dog was suffering from a mystery illness that no vet could figure out, I'd ask him what it was. I'd also ask God if he has heard me all of these years. And for those times that I felt he DIDN'T, what was he up to? Was answering my prayers not part of my bigger plan?

HAVE A LITTLE FAITH also inspired me to start a Facebook note encouraging people to write a living tribute for 5 of their friends (say 5 nice things about 5 of your friends and encourage them to pass it on!) - in homage to the eulogy Mitch had to write for the Rabbi. It always makes me so sad at funerals when I listen to a eulogy. I often wonder if the people who died ever heard any of those kind words when they were alive. Why do we wait to tell people all of the wonderful things about them until they die? We shouldn't.

Anyway, I'd love to discuss this book with you further. And anyone else who reads it prior to - or after - its release date.

Thank you for our post!