Book 19: The First Phone Call From Heaven, Mitch Albom

Since I have been drowning myself with young adult reads themed with depression and suicidal urges, I decided to take a break from it and be hopeful for once! LOL. I’m just so glad that I was able to save a book for my reading challenge by one of the authors whose books occupied most space in my bookshelf – Mitch Albom. All his books have met my expectation of learning something new, and as surprising as it is, some of his works have done a great influence even in my spiritual journey.

The First Phone Call From Heaven surprised me somehow. There was a point upon reading it when I doubted if I was really reading a Mitch Albom novel because of some suspense twist. So anyway, the story is about seven people who claimed to have received a call from their loved ones who were already dead. The prominent ones, being Katherine, who received a call fron her dead sister, Diane; Tess, who received a call from her dead mother and Jack, who received a call from his dead son. All of then claims that the voices on the other line were real, and that their loved ones are talking about heaven. This so-called miracle madeΒ  big news, and soon enough, the little sleepy town of Coldwater almost became a shrine of miracles. Meanwhile, Sully, wanted to prove them to be a hoax. After his wife was killed in an accident and his son started to believe that his mom’s going to call him soon, too, Sully felt the need to do something in order to save his son from a false hope. Thus he started to investigate on his own, leading him to a shocking reveal that he never expected.

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When I am down pretty low, (which nowadays seem frequent), I always feel the need of a miracle. I guess it’s the only reasonable thing to expect when what I hope to happen is next to impossibility. When I was reading this book and noticed that people became frantic upon hearing the miraculous revelation which, in all fairness happens in real life, I started to conclude the a lot of people need miracles. If this is the case, then I wonder. Is the world still good enough to live in, if its people rely on miracles to be saved? Another thing I noticed, is the role of media in these kinds of events. I sincerely hope that I won’t have enough reason to believe that media exists to tell people what they want to hear. The book portrayed media as something that delivers the kind of information that people would surely choose to hear. it doesn’t matter if they are true or not, as long as the people rely to it for information. The church, on the other hand, seemed skeptical about the issue. Like the book said, there’s a difference between miracle and the paranormal. For the non-believers, the idea of heaven and afterlife seemed absurd and even offensive.

So, what are the the things I’ve learned? Just like other Mitch Albom’s books, I have a list of new things I’ve learned. First, people in dire need of a miracle just needs their hopes renewed. Perhaps it is only fitting to conclude that the people mentioned who received calls from their dead loved ones are overcomed with grief and longing. They terribly miss these people who passed. However, as soon as they found comfort from another person, everything changes. The hope is restored and people can move on. Katherine found a friend in Amy, Jack and Tess found comfort in each other. Second, memories are sometimes the reminder of what we have lost. Remembering the past often makes me smile, but in the end, it only makes me ache with longing and resentment. Why do good things come to an end, and all that’s left are the memories. As Doreen, Jack’s ex-wife also started to receive calls from their son, she brooded upon the realization of her loss, and soon gave up the communication she acquired with the person she loved so much and lost. Third,  you don’t need a proof if you believe. I personally believe that miracles do happen. I do not mean the big stuff (though it’s possible too). But there are things in my life which happens beyond my control. Like being able to breathe, or certain surprises that I never expected or hope for. One might say that these things can be explained. But I say, where the answers to the endless questions ends, then God begins.

The First Phone Call From Heaven helped me redeem my fading hope, and made me decide that there is no losing battle when you fight. This book is full of hope and way to self-redemption. Though the revelation is a shock, the message for me is clear. Miracles do happen.

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