By the Waters of Babylon – Ps 137:1
Kate Bowler was a professor at Duke Divinity School in Raleigh – Durham, North Carolina. In the early days of her career as a professor, she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Her last book, Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved dealt with her cancer and the reactions she received from the people around her.
In the midst of her personal struggle, she writes, she received what she called “pig-headed responses”. The people who gave those responses argued that God gave her cancer, either because she didn’t pray enough, didn’t have enough faith, or wasn’t ready to accept that God had a good reason for leaving her infant son motherless, and her young husband a widower. “Pig-headed responses!”
Dr. Bowler also stated that the best response or reaction she received, from a fellow professor at Duke, was “Don’t skip to the ending!” – that is, stay in the present. As we pray and live faithfully, as we argue with as well as serve our God, there is no need to skip to the ending of our story. Rather, let is live in this moment, love in this moment, pray in this moment and hope in this moment. We are, after all, in the most magnificent tale of all, one in which we can approach God and change and grow through prayer and action.