Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rachel Barkey: Death Is Not Dying

Janie died two months ago today. Amazing. I'm still a little shell-shocked, frankly. Sometimes I can hardly believe this could have happened. Not just (just?) her dying, but the cancer and the surgeries and the treatments and her dying and everything. It just shouldn't have happened...not to Janie, right?

God has a great big purpose in it all, though, for Janie (mission accomplished regarding her, I suppose!), for myself, for my family and for everyone who knew and loved Janie. Who knows how her spirited battle with cancer, and her insistence on the Goodness of God in it all, will repercuss in different people's lives? Kind of like how you see
ripples spread out when you drop a stone in a lake. Janie's heart was to let her cancer get glory for God in others' lives. That may sound crazy to some, since by all 'rights,' she should have been angry and bitter at God since He let her have cancer. But really it's not. Which leads me to Rachel Barkey.

I heard about Rachel Barkey back in 2009. She was a young (37 years old) wife and mother of two young kids. She lived in Canada and got breast cancer which spread around her body and eventually killed her. Before she died, she had a chance to give a talk to a group of 600 women about her thoughts on God and cancer.

Janie could have given that speech. Most of it anyway. The similarities in worldview, in 'God-view,' even in their cancer stories is remarkable.

So if you are ok with listening to a cancer patient speak about her disease while she knows she has less than five months to live, please check out Rachel Barkey's speech. She's no professional speaker (which makes me like it more, actually), but her remarks are fantastic and she may even inspire you.

Just click this link:
Death Is Not Dying

Ps. I'll give a more 'newsy' post sometime...we're still holding together though...thanks for caring and praying!


  1. Hi Chris,
    When I saw this post I remembered working through this struggle back in the summer of 2009. [ ] We had a dear friend who struggled with cancer and then went home. Even today, it is something that brings alot of emotion every time its touched. Our VBS workers enjoyed their 'pool time' at the home of this family yesterday as they relaxed after a week in super hot temperatures ministering to the young and old that visited VBS here. Val was great! She exuberantly reflected the grace and love of God and her faith to the end has given hope to many. I think that like Rachel and Janie, the Lord is pleased to honor His earthen vessels in these ways for His glory.

    I really do trust and hope in God that He is sufficient for you today... and not just for you, but for your kids as well.

    always good to hear from you brother. :)

  2. Thanks for this Chris - so good to hear from you brother. I was thinking about you just the other day while listening to a D.A. Carson sermon on the death of Lazarus. Carson stated that only the German translation of the Bible got the following passage correct when they translated the following verse found in the story of raising Lazarus from the dead - this is the verse that follows when Jesus sees the people weeping and when he comes to the tomb... "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled," (John 11:33) Carson says instead of troubled we should see the word "outraged" - and yet he went on to explain why it was not a matter of him being "outraged" at the paid mourners, but rather at the fact of death itself. And he gave an excellent little talk about the outrage of death - how it isn't the way it is supposed to be - and how it is very Christlike for us to feel that way. And anyway - it was just so powerful - because it made me realize that part of our grieving process will most likely include a grieving of the reality of grief itself. Anyway - it came back to my mind as I saw you reflecting here on the experience itself - how it just still doesn't seem like it could have happened - like there is something just impossible about it. And I often feel that same way - thank you so much for sharing. We miss you brother! Nate is in Tunisia of all places right now! No Yankee candle stores there I'll bet! Love in Christ, Kim

  3. Finally got around to finishing watching Rachel's video - didn't make it very far on my first attempt. How beautiful! I'm so glad you shared it. You're still in my thoughts and prayers.