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Brief Book Brief

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved – By: Kate Bowler

I’m going to say it out loud. I found Kate Bowler perfectly nice and engaging but Holy Moses, she came across SOOOO Jesusy to me that it made me uncomfortable. Like someone who might ask to pray over you after you sneeze. Which is why I think I ended up being surprised by the direction her book took. Having been given a serious diagnosis she found herself conflicted with the notions of some who felt she may have earned it in some spiritual/karmic payback. Do we sometimes have direct consequences of life decisions? Of course. Does life sometimes just roundhouse kick you in the philtrum for no apparent reason. That also seems true. It also seems true that many people ruin themselves on the basis of feeling as though they did something to deserve every life adversity or destruction. Sad, sad, sad.

Some quotes from the book:

“Plans are made. Plans come apart. New delights or tragedies pop up in their place. And nothing human or divine will map out this life, this life that has been more painful than I could have imagined. More beautiful than I could have imagined.”

“I can’t reconcile the way that the world is jolted by events that are wonderful and terrible, the gorgeous and the tragic. Except that I am beginning to believe that these opposites do not cancel each other out. I see a middle aged woman in the waiting room of the cancer clinic, her arms wrapped around the frail frame of her son. She squeezes him tightly, oblivious to the way he looks down at her sheepishly. He laughs after a minute, a hostage to her impervious love. Joy persists somehow and I soak it in. The horror of cancer has made everything seem like it is painted in bright colors. I think the same thoughts again and again. Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard.”

“If I were to invent a sin to describe what that was—for how I lived—I would not say it was simply that I didn’t stop to smell the roses. It was the sin of arrogance, of becoming impervious to life itself. I failed to love what was present and decided to love what was possible instead.”

“A lot of Christians like to remind me that heaven is my true home, which makes me want to ask them if they would like to go home first.”

“Everything happens for a reason.” The only thing worse than saying this is pretending that you know the reason. 

Recommended. If you are sub religious, strap up.

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