I recently finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel over the summer. I cannot say enough about how beautifully this book is written. The way Martel weaves together creation and religion is mind blowing.
The main character, Pi, is a very religious individual. He is Hindu, Christian, and Muslim; three religions that do not get along and have very stark differences. Yet, somehow, they work together in Pi and create a relationship with God unlike any other. There’s a part in the book when Pi’s three religious teachers meet together accidentally and they tell Pi that he must choose one religion. That he cannot serve all three. And Pi says, “I only want to love God.” It really struck something in me. Pi discovered the root of religion…love. Obviously, the path to loving God is completely different for all three religions and, as a Christian, I believe that the only way to love God is to allow Him to cover you in grace and understand that pure love only comes from God and cannot be earned or worked for. Now, I’m certainly not intelligent enough to get into a religious debate, but Pi’s statement allowed me to see the Hindu and Muslim religions in a different light and showed me the common ground we share. I think any time the Lord calls me out on my judgmental mindset is a good thing.
The other aspect I loved about this book was the way he spoke about creation, specifically, the animal kingdom. Pi’s parents owned a zoo, so he grew up observing animals his entire life and the way he would connect animal and human nature was amazing. Everything from our shelters to our routines to our personalities. And then, of course, he would connect all of that back to God. I loved the way he mixed science and reasoning with religion. Brilliant!
I did see the movie before I read the book which I realize is a huge no-no, but it didn’t matter. The book is just as good after you’ve seen the movie and vice versa. I love it when the movie is good, too!
If you haven’t already, read this book. There was so much more I could have said about it. I pretty much drove Michael crazy wanting to read parts out loud to him every 5 seconds. So good!