Dana Taylor's Reviews > Have a Little Faith: a True Story

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
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Jan 20, 10

Read in January, 2010

Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom
I came at this book from several angles. First, as a writer, I am always in awe of Mr. Albom. He knows how to take an unstory and turn it into a page-turner. With economy of words and a gift for picking the right moments, he paints portraits of three men: an aging rabbi, a sinner-turned-preacher and himself, a man of lukewarm faith.
When his lifelong Rabbi, Albert Lewis (“ the Reb”), asks the now-famous writer, Albom, to present his eulogy in the uncertain future, Albom agrees on the condition of spending time with the Reb. What unfolds are eight years of visits revealing the history, philosophies and faith of the man of God. During that time period, Albom also begins an association with Henry Covington, a black pastor of a decrepit downtown Detroit church that serves the homeless.
Though vastly different in ethnic backgrounds, education, religious beliefs and life experience, the two clerics share a heart for God and their congregations. They understand what is really important in life—their personal families and the Family of God.
As a Christian, I embraced the personification of Love exemplified by both spiritual leaders. In some ways I thought the Reb had a deeper “Christian” understanding than Pastor Covington. While both men poured out grace from the infinite cup of God’s love, Rabbi Lewis lived in the Lord’s total forgiveness. In contrast, Pastor Covington never released the sins of his past. In his words: "Mitch, I am an awful person. The things I have done in my life, they can never be erased. I have broken every one of the Ten Commandments."
Where is the faith of "being made a new man in Christ"? Where is "Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more"? Pastor Henry lived in abject poverty. A gaping hole in the roof of his church allowed in the rain and cold. Where is embracing the "abundant life" promised by Christ? Pastor Covington instead seems to embrace an endless penance of deprivation. When good things start to happen, he is grateful and surprised. Shouldn’t the Christian pastor know with God all things are possible?
I hope for the sake of himself and his congregation, Pastor Covington accepts the full forgiveness of Christ and allows the living waters to flow through his ministry in Detroit.
In the end, Have a Little Faith imparts the Reb’s guiding philosophy, "We are all men (and women) of God."

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