In Have a Little Faith, the newest nonfiction book by Mitch Albom who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie Albom shares the stories of two men with whom he has been intimately involved and whose lives have touched his own in a very deep way. One was Albert Lewis, an elderly Jewish Rabbi and long time family friend from Mitch’s suburban hometown in New Jersey. The other is an inner-city pastor named Henry Covington who runs a homeless shelter in Detroit where Mitch resides today.
In most ways Albert and Henry could not be more different – one being Jewish, the other Christian; one white, the other African-American; one an educated scholar, the other an ex-con; one serving in a middle-class suburb, the other in an inner city. Both men’s lives have one thing in common, however, their deep religious faith and how that faith has profoundly impacted the lives of many others, not the least of whom was the book’s author. Tee and I, too, were touched by their stories as we listened to the audio version of the book while driving in the car during our Thanksgiving holiday travels. We even wept on several occasions.
Because they’ve now been recorded in a book written by a well known best-selling author the stories of Albert Lewis’s and Henry Covington’s lives will become familiar to thousands if not millions of readers, as well they deserve to be. Otherwise, their stories would probably remain as obscure as yours and mine. But neither are their life stories any more profound or important than yours and mine – to someone. I was reminded of this when I became a grandfather recalling how my own life has been impacted by my grandparents’ stories and their parents’ stories before them. It is human nature that we are curious about where we came from and how those who came before us have influenced who we are.
“To have lived is not enough,” says Samuel Beckett in Waiting for Godot. “We have to talk about it.” Beckett’s right I think, for it is only when we talk about life, telling our stories in some way, that our lives gain significance. And our lives, yours and mine, ARE significant – to someone somewhere – every bit as much as Albert Lewis and Henry Covington.