The Most Interesting People in Religion: 250 Anecdotes
A sample: Lessons can be learned in strange ways. John Wesley and Samuel Bradburn once witnessed an angry quarrel between two women who used bad language but who used it passionately and well and with their whole being. Mr. Bradburn was disgusted by the language and wanted to leave, but Mr. Wesley told him, “Stay—and learn how to preach.” More
Some samples: 1) During the Holocaust, Oskar Schindler saved the lives of more than 1,200 Jews. His good deed is known today largely because of one of the Jews he saved: Poldek Pfefferberg, who lived in the United States under the name of Leopold Page. He told Mr. Schindler, “You protect us, you save us, you feed us—we survived the Holocaust, the tragedy, the hardship, the sickness, the beatings, the killings! We must tell your story!” In Beverly Hills, Mr. Page operated a store for the sale and repair of leather goods. His customers were authors, actors, directors, and producers. Whenever anyone came in, Mr. Page told them the story of Oskar Schindler and tried to get them interested in writing or telling Mr. Schindler’s story. In 1980, Australian author Thomas Keneally came into the store to buy a briefcase, heard the story, and wrote the book "Schindler’s List" with Mr. Page as an advisor. In 1982, after much research, including interviews with 50 Jews in seven countries whom Mr. Schindler had saved, Mr. Keneally’s book—a classic—appeared. Later, Stephen Spielberg made a movie of Mr. Keneally’s book, and again Mr. Page was an advisor. It took Mr. Spielberg 11 years to start making the movie, and once a week for 11 years Mr. Page called Mr. Spielberg’s office to urge him to make the movie, In 1993, it was finally released. Because of Mr. Page’s good deed of telling everyone Mr. Schindler’s story, we now know how this man resisted the Nazis and saved Jewish lives. Mr. Page once said, “Schindler gave me my life, and I tried to give him immortality.” 2) Early in her career, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson often sang in Chicago churches, but sometimes her down-South-style singing was not appreciated. One pastor became angry and told Mahalia to take that “jazz” she was singing out of his church. Mahalia told him, “This is the way we sing down South! I been singing this way all my life in church! If it’s undignified, it’s what the Bible told me to do!” The Bible passage she had in mind was from Psalm 47: “Oh, clap your hands, all ye people! Shout unto the Lord with the voice of a trumpet!” 3) Abby Kelley, a Quaker, spoke often to advocate the abolition of slavery. Once, a man in the audience argued against abolition, saying that human history showed that slavery had always existed. He demanded, “When did slavery [begin]? How long has it existed?” Ms. Kelley replied, “About as long as murder,” and the audience applauded her answer.