I’ve written here before about Kara Tippetts, the Colorado Springs wife and mother of four who is in the late stages of her battle with cancer. She writes a great blog about it called Mundane Faithfulness (she’s a Christian). As I explain in this Beliefnet column, one thing that makes her cancer blog so great is that she doesn’t shrink from talking about the hard realities she’s dealing with. Her hope is so much more credible because it’s not based on pious cliches or happy talk.
Kara has a book coming out in a few weeks called The Hardest Peace. I read an advance copy of it, hence my Beliefnet piece about it. Here’s an excerpt from that column:
Reading [the book] is to be shocked, over and over, by the audacity of her hope. In the chapter that haunts me, Kara writes of the long talks she has had with Jason, her husband of 16 years, planning for the day when she is no longer there. She writes about the letting go of what is passing to embrace what is eternal. She writes about what it means to dwell in love within the sovereignty of God. Here is what that means:
The other day I was praying for that woman that might come after me. I prayed God would be gracious with Jason and the kids, and bring them someone that would love them with a fierce uniqueness. I was praying for her to have the grace to enter this place, this hard place of broken hearts with her own special brand of love and gentleness for the hearts of my children and husband. I pray that she will be met with warmth and open hearts. And in the struggle against the edges of this life she will face, I pray she is patient.
Can you imagine? This woman is praying for the wife she hopes her husband will take after she is dead – the woman who will be the mother of her children. And she does this for the unselfish love of God and Jason. He has been a terrific husband, she writes, having been blessed by God with the “gift” of excelling in married love. “The thought of his giftedness in marriage dying with me felt suffocating,” Kara writes. “How could I rob him of this gift he’s been uniquely given?”
I was thinking the other day, reading through these final cantos of Dante’s Paradiso, where in the highest heaven, nothing that exists is made of anything but light and love, how much Dante’s description of the blessed there remind me of Kara Tippetts. I’ve never met her, but look at the photo above; look at the photos on her site. Read her descriptions of what she’s going through and the grace with which she’s going through it. I pray that God works a miracle here and spares her life. Whatever happens, that woman is already in heaven, transparent to the light of God. Just look at her face. She sees things most of us do not … but could, if we had the humility and the faith.