If you’ve not been following the story of Kara Tippetts, you’ve missed a gift. A mom, a wife, a Jesus follower who went home to be with her Creator on March 22 after a courageous and graceful battle with cancer. I read post after post as Kara made hard decisions and said long goodbyes. I’d check daily for her updates, particularly after she entered hospice in December.
I grew to love so many things about Kara through her words. Her authenticity – if a day was hard, if she were mad, or if she’d had a great day – you’d know it. Her thankfulness in the midst of suffering – what an example of who we are and can be in Christ. Her grace and gentleness – a quiet spirit that leaned into Jesus like I’ve never witnessed leaning.
And while I never met Kara in person – or spoke a single word to her – I feel as if I journeyed alongside her some. I am sure many of her thousands of readers feel that way. When she died, two friends texted me immediately as they knew she had touched me deeply in the year or so I followed her. I teared up as I told her story to my mom who hadn’t heard of her. I tear up now as I write these words.
Kara had a peace that passes all understanding. Her words flowed from a deep knowing of and relationship with God that I am yet to have or even understand. I would read a blog post or Facebook status and think…she knows something I do not. Her words flow from a place that is deeper – a place that taught me much and increased my faith over and over. The Jesus Kara and I follow is real – of that I am sure.
On March 25 her family posted a letter to her readers upon her death. I’ve read it more times than is probably healthy;) There is so much goodness contained in the letter’s lines, and I pray you’ll take time to read it even if you’ve never heard of Kara.
It’s more than beautiful and courageous…it’s every kind of love and grace.
And while I have read and pondered all of her words, the following paragraph hit my heart the hardest:
Our time together has been a highlight of my life. You have prayed me through so many difficult circumstances. So many days you were the grace that showed up. Our family has known such peace as a result of your faithful praying for our family. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I know that Kara penned these words to thousands of readers whom she had never met. But, as I read these words, a quote I saw a few months came to mind: We are all just walking each other home.
That’s true, huh?
This earth is our home – this life our place to love God and others, giving Him all glory until He calls us to our eternal home.
And doesn’t this apply to you, friend? These words to Kara’s readers? You may not know a single soul that doesn’t live within one mile of your home. You may not have 1,000 readers – or even one. But when you look at your friends and family – those with whom you interact and do life each and every day – aren’t you all just walking one another home for better or for worse?
Your children whose hand you hold, your mom whose arms you feel safest in, your care group with whom you study God’s word, your co-workers who see you each day, your husband…your roommate…your church family…your best friends…
Aren’t you all just walking one another home? Shouldn’t we all be loving one another and growing closer to and more like Jesus every, single day together as we look forward to our time when His Kingdom comes?
This thought caused me to consider…..who is walking me home? And when I come to the end of my days – today or in 40 years – who will I look upon and say…”our time together has been a highlight of my life.” Who is and will pray me through many difficult circumstances? Whom will I look at and say… YOU were the grace that showed up. Who prays faithfully for me and my children?
So many people both near and far (ahem, Honduras and Cambodia:) – all of which I can say…
Our time together has been the highlight of my life. You have prayed me through so many difficult circumstances. So many days you were the grace that showed up. My little family has known such peace as a result of your faithful prayers for us. Thank you.
I pray today that your heart has at least a few people to whom you can say these precious words penned by precious soul. I pray we all shed our agendas, expectations, and notions – and walk one another home with love and grace.
Have a great weekend!