On Platitudes

Friends, I have been so busy. The last two months has been a whirlwind of activity and a sinkhole of responsibility. Because of this, I haven’t written much. When I finally came out of the intense period about a week ago, I went to ground and READ LIKE CRAZY. I read some fun stuff, some serious stuff, and then I read this.

Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved is a work of art. So often, we wish for answers to what we are going through. We want reasons, explanations, assurances, and the conviction that we are doing exactly what we should be doing. Unfortunately, while things sometimes do turn out well, it isn’t a given thing. A Job story isn’t a source of comfort to me, nor is it to our author, who gets a delayed death sentence with a baby in the house, and a history of faith. (If you don’t know what a Job story is, you can read about it here on this Wikipedia page or in brief, Job is a good, God-loving man with a wonderful life and family. Due to a wager between God and Satan, they basically destroy Job’s life and family to see if he is still righteous at the end of his suffering. Lucky Job, he passes the test, and gets an even better family. If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of this tale).

Bowler’s story isn’t just beautifully written, she offers solid advice for people who want to help in times of trouble. I have a number of friends who have been going through some really rough times. Other friends will say, “I’ve been meaning to call, but I don’t know what to say!” Just call. You don’t have to say anything wise or good. Be practical. Send letters. Drop off food. Be yourself. And read this book. It’s brilliant.

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