I confess that I’ve become a fan of professor, cancer patient, and author Kate Bowler who wrote a new book Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved. A week ago I put up a blog post containing some of her thoughts in a TIME magazine interview, and today I want to put up some more of her material from her article in Christianity today. Kate does a fantastic job describing the shock of a cancer diagnosis and then the grieving process of facing a totally redefined life, along with wrestling over your faith, as everything goes off the rails. What is beautiful and comforting is her observation, not only from her own experience, but the experience of so many of her readers, that in the midst of the pain was this overwhelming feeling of love from God. It’s something Augustine once described as “the sweetness,” and something Kate describes as this experience so overwhelming she kept saying to herself, “I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back.” Out of this experience she concludes her article with this rich insight that is worth reading whether we’re healthy or sick.
What would it mean for Christians to give up that little piece of the American Dream that says, “You are limitless”? Everything is not possible. The mighty kingdom of God is not yet here. What if rich did not have to mean wealthy, and whole did not have to mean healed? What if being people of “the gospel” meant that we are simply people with good news? God is here. We are loved. It is enough.