‘he sleeps in a storm’

Eight years ago, I wrote a book review for “Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom.

Albom is renowned author to “Tuesdays With Morrie”, “Five People You Meet in Heaven”,  “For One More Day”, “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto”, “The Time Keeper”, “The First Phone Call From Heaven”.  On October 9, his new book entitled “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven” will hit the bookstands.

So far, “Have a Little Faith” was his best.

While the book was published in 2010, its message is as timely as when I wrote it’s review eight years ago.

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

Timely and moving are the two words that best describe the 254 pages that drove me to a deeper understanding of my humanity.

The book begins with a task.  The 82 year old rabbi has asked Mitch to deliver an eulogy for him when he passes on. Here, Albom seeks out to find not only the story of the life of the rabbi, but his life and many of those whose lives he crossed path with in his search for the “right words” to say to fittingly describe one of the greatest eulogies.

The story spans eight years between two men – Rabbi Albert Lewis and Pastor Henry Covington. In Alboms’ search for the right words to put together, their stories would cross paths in the search for the meaning to life and happiness.

On page 93 is a short excerpt of how beautifully written the sermon of Rabbi Lewis (Reb) is:

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 animals are secure with plenty of feed. 

He runs out to the field.  He sees the bales of wheat have been bound and 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 our 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 goodbyes will be complete”.

There will always be stories of despair. Or of inspiration. Albom puts reality into perspective by engaging us in a story of finding meaning in our faith.

As the story draws to a close, Album finds that the lives of two men from two different religions profoundly find something bigger than oneself.

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Have a Little Faith is a book about life’s purpose. About losing belief.  And finding it again. About the divine spark inside each of us.

You will smile.

Shed a tear or cry.

Because this one man’s journey, is everyone’s story.

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