We first talked about author, Kara Tippetts, when I reviewed her two books, The Hardest Peace and Just Show Up. You can read that review here. Both of these books are excellent reads for someone dealing with a terminal illness. Or anyone who wants to be Christlike in the way we do life with someone dealing with a terminal illness. Which is basically all of us. I mentioned I thought Just Show Up in particular should be required reading for anyone participating in a church care ministry.
When I saw her new book, And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life In the Midst Of The Long Goodbye, I wondered how it would differ from the first two. I now see the trilogy (a packaging suggestion David C Cook) is a complete picture of the hardships Kara and her loved ones endured due to the cancer that ultimately took her life in March 2015.
The Hardest Peace gives us the well thought out viewpoint of Kara’s response to this terrible disease. Her faith will blow you away. Her theology is so sound. Her honesty is humbling.
Then, in Just Show Up, Kara writes the book alongside her friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn. Readers see both perspectives. How to be helpful and how to receive help.
In the latest book, And It Was Beautiful, readers have Kara’s blog articles, from mundanefaithfulness.com. The raw thoughts she wrote down as a way to process all that was happening to them. Although her faith is still there and it carries her, you don’t see the polished version that you get in The Hardest Peace.
That’s why I have developed such an appreciation for blogging. It’s real life before the editors get a hold of it. In large part, writing before you think. Or as you think.
Although she was a strong Christian, Kara wasn't perfect. I haven’t met a perfect Christian yet. We read about Kara’s disappointment after she gets home from another bad diagnosis. We ache with her when her children ask her the really hard questions she doesn’t have answers to. We sympathize as she does the unimaginable, prepares her family for life without her.
It reminds me of a remarkable Bible story. In 2 Samuel 12, David has already stolen Bathsheba from her husband after having him killed in battle. She finds herself pregnant and gives birth to a healthy little boy. But God doesn’t allow the little one to live. He is struck with illness.
David prayed to God for the baby. David fasted and went into his house and stayed there, lying on the ground all night. The elders of David’s family came to him and tried to pull him up from the ground, but he refused to get up or to eat food with them. 2 Samuel 12:16-17
He did what we Christians do. What any human being would do. What Kara and her husband must have done a thousand times. Present their case to God, asking for healing.
In this life though, healing doesn’t always come. We know that. I have such tremendous respect for David’s response. It shows why God would speak of him as a man after God’s own heart.
When David saw his servants whispering, he knew that the baby was dead. So he asked them, “Is the baby dead?”
They answered, “Yes, he is dead.”
Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and changed his clothes. Then he went into the Lord’s house to worship. After that, he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food, and he ate. 2 Samuel 12:19-20
David said, “While the baby was still alive, I fasted, and I cried. I thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.’ But now that the baby is dead, why should I fast? I can’t bring him back to life. Someday I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me.” 2 Samuel 12:22-23
That’s what you’ll see in this latest book. Kara asking God to intervene on her behalf. Her family’s life as they lived with her illness before she died. Before they got up, found a way to keep on living and said,
But now that [our loved one] is dead, why should I fast? I can’t bring [her] back to life. Someday I will go to [her], but [she] cannot come back to me.
I received a copy of And It Was Beautiful, written by the late Kara Tippetts, from NetGalley for the purpose of generating a review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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