Kate Bowler’s ‘Everything Happens for a Reason’ is Sensational and a Miracle

everything happens

This book was a miracle to my thought process…

No matter how much church we have in our pockets or theological knowledge- when death sniffs us out as potential meals, who cares about the English language anymore? This prosperity teaching author drops the f-bombs freely and sweetly as she shares her life story about living with stage IV colon cancer. There are more truths I paid attention to here as well.

The book is almost a guide on how to respect the ill and dying.

Reading an account of someone living with stage IV cancer is one thing, to hear the author read her own memoir aloud is another. Kate Bowler finds out she has colon cancer at the age of thirty-five and with a little baby and doting husband, she wonders if this is something God orchestrated and she explains in her own sharp-witted way(and with candid humor), that sometimes there can’t be a reason and sometimes things are the way they are.

“Some are sinking faster than others- but we’re all sinking” (Kate Bowler, “Everything Happens for a Reason”)

The emotion behind the author’s voice brings to life the anguish and irony of living while dying. The encounters with snotty doctors, uncaring doctors, and others who mean well but just cannot help.

As an assistant professor at Duke University, whose specialty is in the Prosperity Gospel, Kate is astonished at how little prosperity Gospel actually teaches. The chapter I paid attention to most is “Magic”, where the author recounts how at church one day everyone was proclaiming God’s provision in their lives for cars, homes, and weight loss and each of them received it but she had not received her blessing. I totally empathized with her on that one. There have been plenty of times God looked out for others and I would declare to no one in particular. “Why isn’t God looking out for me too? I love Him too?!”

The author definitely keeps it real about her diagnosis: from the evaluation to the nurse calling her and telling her that cancer was all over her body and then the grueling, painful task of saying the “slow goodbyes” to friends and family.

Overall, I admire this woman’s courage to tell her truth and even though we all know to be kind to others, when in the presence of someone deathly sick, please refrain from:

  • platitudes and Scriptures
  • Prayers of healing(unless asked for)
  • trying to “make” the person well again *of course, all of these are great if asked for!

and more importantly, do not treat them as if they are already erased. Just be there. Just listen.

I think about my father when he had stage IV esophageal cancer;  I would gently hold his hands and I would whisper prayers of healing I found online. He wore the Jehovah Heals scarves, had water that was prayed over and I told him “God can do all things, even heal”

His body resides in a vault now. Six years has passed on. Nope, it hasn’t gotten easier folks.

What was running through my own father’s mind when I tried to church him to health?

He was quiet, I do remember that.

We accept life, why can’t we accept this part of it too? Maybe because we never been on that trip before and don’t want to find out. We love God but we question: does he love us enough? I understand we are mortal, so death is as certain as taxes but cancer remains a beast.

*Kate if you are reading this, your book is a miracle in writing and I will say to you that there are never perfect words of healing to say to anyone in your position, I will say to take each day as a present as we all should, and that God may be there but I believe there are times where He presses the mute button.

-Ericajean

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