Title: Have a Little Faith
Author: Mitch Albom
Published: March 2011
Published By: Hachette Books
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Inspirational, Non-fiction, Christian, Biography
Date Read: May 14 2015
Have a Little Faith is the true inspirational story of the time author Mitch Albom spent getting to know his childhood Rabbi, during the last years of his life. It all began with a simple question from a man of god that had been a daunting figure for as long as Albom could remember; “Will you do my eulogy?” How could he say no? So for almost a decade the two men met up to discuss everything from life to faith and everything in between. Throughout this Albert Lewis (or The Reb as he was referred to) became more than just a Rabbi, but a very good friend to Albom. Meanwhile the author also had the opportunity to get to know another man of god, who at first seemed as opposite as night and day to The Reb. Albom first met Henry Covington, when he went to check out the Pastor’s dilapidated church “I Am My Brother’s Keeper” in a poor Detroit neighbourhood, with a charitable offer for funding. Readers follow Covington’s life beginning as a hustler and drug dealer/addict in New York to a man saved by Jesus.
A few years ago I watched the made for television movie based on this book. It wasn’t something I would normally watch but I did and was really touched by the story. This may have been what sparked my interest in inspirational stories. I’m only sorry that it took me so long to pick up a book by Mitch Albom as he has been on my TBR list for several years now.
This book begins with an author’s note that says
“..while this is a book about faith, the author can make no claim to being a religion expert, nor is this a how-to guide for any particular belief. Rather, it is written in hope that all faiths can find something universal in the story.”
This is by far the best description I have ever read of this genre of inspiration and how I personally approach these books as a reader. I don’t read them because I am a religious person (I’m not at all), but because I am able to walk away with some form of meaning that makes a person feel good about themselves.
Albert Lewis was a great speaker that captivated his congregation for decades and it would have been an honor to have known him. The addition of sermons the Reb gave throughout his career really helped to give a better understanding of the man and his faith. It was easy to picture a big tall man in front of his congregation speaking those words.
“The most inspirational man I knew only reached his potential by helping a child reach his.” Pg. 39
Henry Covington, on the other hand had quite a different journey to faith. It was amazing to read of a man who had been through so much could turn his life around and dedicate his time in such a touching way.
Setting aside the incredible lives of The Reb and Henry, the part that surprised me the most was how candid Albom was about his own doubts. He went from doubting and almost fearing The Reb, to being inspired by his wisdom. Albom also went from doubting Henry’s sincerity as a preacher due to his past, to becoming great friends with the man. The tone the author approached this book with, allowed for his readers to feel less as if they were having religious beliefs forced on them and more as if they were on a journey of discovery about faith.
Several times I found myself re-reading sentences and paragraphs that caught my eye. Things that I thought were beautifully written, thought provoking or relatable to my own life. Its books like these that are worth high ratings, in my opinion.
Below I have included the trailer for the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Have a Little Faith, staring Laurence Fishburne, Bradley Whitford, Anika Noni Rose and Martin Landau Star, which aired on ABC in November of 2011.
Check out Mitch Albom’s website for more information on the background to this story.