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Wednesdays were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, And God Paperback – March 1, 2012
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What do I tell the parent whose child has cancer? What do I tell the wife who grieves the breakup of her marriage? What do I tell my own wife who recently buried her mother at a too-young age?
There are great, theological books on suffering. Books I've read, used as a basis for preaching, and have internalized. They are good. And yet they still seem sort of sterile in a time of personal suffering. There are also many good personal books that talk about
the trials of suffering. But many of these lack the Scriptural basis for walking someone through difficulty.
This is why I so enjoyed Michael Kelley's book, Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal.
Kelly, a writer, pastor, blogger, and director of discipleship for Lifeway, takes us through his own personal nightmare. One day, a doctor delivered the news that no parent wants to hear: "You're son has lukemia."
I'm a father of four children. The thing I fear most in my life is the serious illness, injury or death of one of my kids. It's the news I hope I never have to hear.
How do you handle this? How do you endure the endless tests, treatments, complications, financial considerations, etc when your young child has cancer? Kelly walks you through their story with authenticity, vulnerability, and hope. Kelly writes so well, so poignantly and personally. He breaks down the Scriptures teaching on trials and suffering in such an original and practical way. This is a book on suffering and hope that is not theoretical. There are not cheap platitudes. Only the day-by-day struggles of a father trying to make sense of his son's struggle with lukemia.
I think this book may be the best Christian book published in 2012. I hope it reaches the New York Times Bestseller list. It deserves too. It's a book I will gladly recommend to others. I'm thinking of ordering several copies and giving them to people I know who are suffering. The Scriptures Michael applied to his own heart will resonate with anyone who is suffering, not simply those who are grieving a child.
Simply put: this is the best book on suffering I've ever read. It's beautiful, wonderful read that can help breathe hope into a troubled, restless, angry soul. It has theological weight measured out in easily digestible doses. The book is comprised of short, simple chapters. It's like a running conversation.
I can't recommend this book any higher. If you've ever asked God, "Why?" you need to read Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal.
Michael Kelley, thank you for opening up your heart and sharing your story with us. I pray God uses Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal in a powerful way to inspire hope in millions of people around the world.
Some books are good at asking questions and some books are good at answering them, but few do a good job on both. This book is one of those exceptions. We get to experience Kelly's inner feelings as he questions his choices and beliefs, and then finds the answers that support him and his family.
The main reason it is easy to connect with this book is because Kelly really asks the same kind of questions I would ask if my son had cancer. You can feel the pain of a parent wondering of their child will even live to see his next birthday. You follow the family as they describe their good decisions and their regretfully bad decisions.
The book is strong on religious overtones, but I don't think that would be a surprise considering that he holds a Master of Divinity degree. In reality, I think many people turn to God or a higher power when they feel helpless when facing a great challenge. It is the intimacy of Kelly's writing that really brings the journey to life.
On a personal note, I probably related to this journey more than the average reader because I lost my own son four years ago and experienced many of the same feelings while asking many of the same questions. This book will not be for everyone, but it will be a big lift to those who feel strong religious ties and are facing any great challenge of their own.