What does it take to believe all over again? What does it take to get faith restored and perhaps look at life the way you never did? It is strange how in today’s time, when faith is most needed, people are renouncing theirs at the drop of a hat. I sometimes wonder how they do it so easily. So effortlessly – this giving up on something they believed in once upon a time. However, at sometimes I also believe that faith has not gone anywhere. It is lying deep somewhere within them – waiting to be reignited.
“The Lilies of the Field” by William E. Barrett is one such story of faith – which is most simply and beautifully told. It all starts when Homer Smith, an African-American ex-GI, bumps into five German nuns, who cannot speak English fluently but have a dream – that of building a church in the middle of nowhere. This is where this small gem of a book takes off or rather is about.
The book tells us about how the nuns came to be where they are and how Homer is where he is in his life. It is about dreams and how perhaps we give up too soon on them sometimes. There are no lessons and it is not preachy. It is just the way it is – subtle and full of simplicity and grace.
The writing is simple (I somehow have a thing for simple writing. I tend to automatically get drawn to it.) and beautiful. I first read this book in 1999, when I was in the most major sense having my personal moment of faith crisis and somehow I tided over that time. This time round, I just wanted a book that would make me feel good and somehow this one came back to mind and I had to buy and read it. I recommend it quite heavily. It is just like hot chocolate, which is most needed sometimes.
The book was also made into a movie and here is a trailer of it: