Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How is your faith? By David Gregory

It took a while to get into this book but when I finally did, my reading speed became a sprint. I didn't put it down until I got to the last page [except for when I had to use the bathroom] and even found myself digging into the acknowledgment pages.

David wrote this book with a soul. There are few writers who have mastered the art of weaving words into sincere memoirs. Any reader would be endeared by this style.

Judging by the title of the book, I expected to be bombarded with information overload about religion and all that but to my surprise the book ended up to be a beautiful piece of ethnography mixed in autobiographical narrative.

I was intrigued by his zest for journalism. I was also intrigued by his love for life and life of love, as expressed in the pages that narrated how he bonded with his father and sparked up his relationship with Beth, who became his wife despite age and religious gaps. It was interesting that what appeared to be a traumatic upbringing did not destroy his ability to raise a family.

David talked openly about his mother's alcoholism, family struggles, betrayal, workplace politics and the hustling to climb up the ladder. He talked about small and big victories. He didn't present himself as a saint and spoke easily about when he fell short and how he struggled to make amends.

And yes-- he talked about how faith helped him through each phase.

Yay, yay, yay-- I was a bit paranoid when I first started reading... my little knowledge about Judaism and Jewish culture didn't ignite any enthusiasm at all. But like I said earlier, the soulful way David told his story broke down every paranoia and I soon found myself drawn into the pages as the story unfolded.

David's many interpretation of faith - Judaism, Christianity, Islam etc. - didn't cause me to lose anything by reading the book. Instead, it strengthened my believe in God and His love expressed through Jesus Christ. The book also encouraged me to learn not to separate my faith from my work. I especially appreciate how David discussed these things by putting a human face to each of them. Yep, it wasn't another of those abstract discourse.

You might not meet a President George Bush who might ask you "how is your faith?" [David says that is what spurred him to embark on his journey]. But you can open you heart and be liberated.

We live in a secular world that takes pride in stigmatising people who believe in God through His son Jesus Christ. How can you believe in a God that you cannot see? Well, that is why it is called faith! Look closely, you will see God in everything and everywhere. There is a God. He has expressed His love to us by sending us His only son Jesus Christ. Our role is to believe. Of course, the doubts will always set in but it won't quench our faith if we don't let it.

I'll recommend How is your faith? to everyone interested in journalism or interfaith marriage. But most importantly to anyone out there interested in diving deeper in their spiritual journey, beyond the peripheral of this secular world. I don't 100% agree with the principles shared in the book but I appreciate David for having the courage to share his story.