I can’t remember the sound of my mom’s voice.
That’s because she died of cancer when I was just 9 years old. It was a blow, of course, the security of my entire world shattered in an instant. The tragedy was made even worse because nobody told me my mom was so ill.
How do you explain to a young child that his mother is dying of cancer?
It’s not easy to explain death and terminal illness to a young boy or girl.
Let’s face it: it’s not easy to explain such a weighty topic to anyone. I’ve long appreciated C.S. Lewis’ candid observation that death of a loved one is like an amputation and grief feels so much like fear.
I suppose that’s why the two-part broadcast that begins tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 8) with Kara and Jason Tippetts resonated so strongly with me.
“Living Faithfully with Cancer” is a practical and emotional conversation. A pastor’s wife and mom to four young kids, Kara has chronicled her journey of illness on her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, and in her recently released book, “The Hardest Peace.”
During our time together, Kara and Jason shared with us about receiving the devastating news of stage 4 metastatic cancer and how they talk to their kids about their mom’s illness.
However, this broadcast is about so much more than cancer.
Ultimately, Kara shares what the Lord has taught her about living with the expectation of God’s grace and peace in the middle of incredible difficulty. The lessons Kara has learned in the midst of her brokenness are ones that would help anyone live their life well.
Recording this program was a unique experience for me. I’ve sat in our studio for well over a thousand broadcasts, but this one was different. It felt like we were on holy ground. We could feel the presence of the Lord in the studio as we spoke.
That sense of depth didn’t come from the fact that Kara and Jason have it all together or all sorted out. No, they’re very much walking in the middle of their life’s greatest trial. They still have many questions and there’s great vulnerability in their spirit.
Kara put it this way: “Cancer makes me realize how much I need Jesus… Sure, I would love to be here more days. But I have today. And our call is to be faithful today.”
I hope you’ll tune in on Wednesday and let me know how the conversation strikes you. If you have a loved one or friend going through a challenging illness, please consider sharing the broadcast with them.
Photos by Jen Lints. Used with permission.