Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hearing God through Kara: A Reluctant Journey

God often chooses to speak to us when we are purposely still, through His Word, through people. He speaks even when we are reluctant to listen. I know, because He has been talking to me through a dying woman whose sharing I have been reluctant to hear. 

I proofread her book for its publisher and started following her blog, hopeful that God would heal her in this life on earth. He has not. Unless He still chooses to intervene in the life of this young wife and mother of four, there isn’t much time left for her to be here. The cancer is winning.

I want to reach for earplugs. I want to close my eyes. I have thought about ignoring her posts that come to my email inbox or even unsubscribing from her blog—at least for a while. Dying is hard to watch, even from afar, you know? And after all, I don’t know her and she does not know me.

But “God, do I really need to hear this?” seems to be answered with, “Yes, you do. Read.”

So I do—and I hear. She writes compellingly about God’s presence through it all—so compellingly that I have wanted to not only hear but write about her. But writing draws me emotionally to reluctance as well, to a place I tend to dwell when it comes to what she calls the hard. And how can I write about her and what God says through her when I am reluctant to know about the hard?

So I write, but only going so far as to tell you that I am in awe of what I hear. It’s an awe that lessens reluctance. She is so saddened and so hopeful all at once. She seems to have been specially commissioned by God to tell not her story but their story. Is it because people need to understand the feelings and needs and what’s real for people who are going through horrendous but looking for and finding peace? Who suffer yet have joy because they ask for it, look for it, accept it—a gift from God in the valley? That she is one among millions and millions in this world who are on some level and in some way suffering, losing, dying?

In every hardship, she still seems to manage to say, “See, there He is. There’s God.” God infuses her words with inspiration and hope. But together she and God do not hide the sorrow. A couple of days ago on her blog, she told us the hospital bed had arrived. The hard (see the title of her book) is getting harder for her. The hospital bed is one more sorrow. I remember my mother in one.

News of the hospital bed is my crucible. My reluctance is back, and it's strong. But today I need to decide once and for all (as if it compares one iota to her journey, which it does not) if I am in for the long haul. Willing to see what God will do, no matter what He does. Willing to listen and hear. Because reluctant is not where I want to be. Because through her God asks me to think about what matters when it comes to life and death and heaven and suffering and how to live, and that is a good thing.

Because now is where I live too. It’s where we all live, sick or well.

And so I decide, once and for all—yes. As she shares in her now, as God speaks into her now and through her now, I will listen and I will hear in mine.

Pray for Kara and her family. 


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