Thanks to a recommendation from my highschool friend Becky Rusell, I recently finished reading Kate Bowler’s remarkable and moving book Everything Happens For A Reason: and other lies I’ve loved. (Amazon link)
When Kate Bowler was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, she was 35, happily married, and had a newborn son named Zach. She was a professor at Duke Divinity School and was a specialist in the study of the prosperity gospel. In her book, she chronicles her very difficult and soul-sucking journey with honesty, warmth, humor, and a clear-eyed admission of what’s at stake.
Most important for the reader is to know this was not in the least a maudlin, depressing book. For me it was inspiration for living more fully and even a wonderful tutorial for how to act, what to say, and what NOT to say around someone with cancer. Most of the traditional platitudes are like salt on a wound, and I hope to remember these lessons whenever I have the chance to reach out to someone in that situation.
Miraculously, her brutal treatment seems to have been effective, because as I write this in mid-2021, she is apparently doing well and sharing the lessons she has learned, as she did in the TED talk below. Here are a few:
“My life is built with paper walls, and so is everyone else’s.”
“We are all just a breath away from a problem that could destroy something irreplaceable or alter our lives completely.”
“Life is so beautiful…and life is so hard…wonderful and terrible..gorgeous and tragic.”
But through it all, she felt love, a love that nourished her, sustained her, and held her in its arms. She is reconciled to the contradictions and the lack of reasons for the things that happen to us in life. She has learned instead to love without counting the cost and to believe that even in the darkness, love can be more than enough.
Order this book now from: