Epub Walter Wangerin Jr. ✓ Epub Letters from the Land of Cancer Kindle  Letters from ✓ publitags.co

In Letters from the Land of Cancer award winning writer Walter Wangerin Jr offers his profound insights into the greatest challenge we face confronting our own mortality Shortly after the cancer had been diagnosed I began writing letters to the members of my immediate family to relatives and to lifelong friends The following book will consist mostly of those letters They will invite you into my most intimate dancing with the cancer even as that partner and I have over the last two years swung each other around the tiled floors of ballrooms and bathrooms Dizzy still and day by day I sat and wrote This is what I'm feeling right now This is what I think From afternoon to afternoon of radiation Wangerin wrote about confronting his mortality about living with the messiness of undone tasks and bodily weakness He wrote about the medical procedures he endured the wild mood swings that unbalanced his days and the fragilities and strengths of the relationships that surrounded him Letters from the Land of Cancer is made up of these writings Cadenced within the letters are Wangerin's elouent meditations derived from his pastoral experiences with the faithful passage of death to life Seldom has the great adventure of life and death been as beautifully presented as it is in this testimony to faith love and the shocking reality of hope


10 thoughts on “Letters from the Land of Cancer

  1. says:

    My favorite parts of this book Virginia my elegant mother lays her cheek against mine and singsI am Jesus' little lambEver glad at heart I amFor my Shepherd gently guides meKnows my need and well provides meLoves me every day the sameEven calls me by my nameDay by day at home awayJesus is my Staff and StayWhen I hunger Jesus feeds meInto pleasant pastures leads me;When I thirst He bids me goWhere the uiet waters flowWho so happy as I amEven now the Shepherd's lamb?And when my short life is endedBy His angel host attendedHe shall fold me to His breastThere within His arms to restHenriette L von HaynThis is the closest I come to a word regarding my healing a declaration that in the end it will surely come But I am consoled my dear wife by your persistent prayingWhy can't I bring myself to pray for my own healing? Well it seems a bit presumptuousNot that I don't believe in the prayer's effect I've prayed the same prayer for others with neither hesitation nor skepticism Well perhaps this is a genuine explanation I don't fear death I am peaceful in my present state I feel no urgency for change Why pray for one particular outcome when whatever God chooses for me is altogether fine by me?Look Shadrach Meshach and Abedego just before Nebuchadezzar threw them into the fiery furnace made a statement of faith so magnificent that I don't think there was another such until Jesus himself lived out the same faithNebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that they be brought inNow if you are ready to fall down and worship the statue that I have made well and good But if you do not worship you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?They said We have no need to present a defense to you If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand O king let him deliver us But if not be it known to you that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set upEven if God gives them no sign at all yet they will obey himWhichever the case the three young men will not break their faith Whether they live or whether they die it is all one with themEven if my God should take no extraordinary measures regarding my life I am neverthe less at peaceThey didn't pray Simply they stuck to the Lord God He would do as he pleased God was God however he chose to actLikewise Jesus even hanging on the cross dying suffering what seemed the abandonment of his Father yet he obeyed even unto deathWhy resting my soul upon the everlasting bosom of my Lord should I be any different?Christ is altogether trustworthy than the leaders of this earth are proving themselves to be Grief and fear and a pandemic of self serving behaviors trouble the peoples; leaders increase the fear distort the behaviors invert righteousness and their destructions abound These things are true They have been true since we hid from God even if they do seem extreme in these latter yearsAnd here Linda comes the real source of my peace on the threshold of deathWatch in this chapter for the relationship between the Holy Shepherd and his flock John 10The sheep hear his voice He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out When he has brought out all his own he goes ahead of them and the sheep follow him because they know his voice They will not follow a stranger but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers I am the good shepherd I know my own and my own know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father And I lay down my life for the sheep I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold I must bring them also and they will listen to my voice My sheep hear my voice I know them and they follow me I give them eternal life and they will never perish No one will snatch them out of my hand What my Father has given me is greater than all else and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand The Father and I are oneAnd this finally is the merciful conseuence of the Savior's calling our names Eternal lifeLinda how did Jesus raise Lazarus whom he dearly loved from the dead? He called the dead man by his name LazarusAnd how did he revive Mary Magdalene grieving the death of her whole existence? MarySo it shall be with meThe shepherd will come he who leads me out by my name and by the resounding gift of his voiceAnd he will say to my dead self WalterAnd I will be againThe creating word itself will give me ears to his voice And a mind of soaring mystery to know it And I like Lazarus will riseI like Mary Magdalene will emerge from the death of hopelessness and anguished tears and distressWalter Jesus will say and in that instant my soul will know Jesus that it is he And in the light of his familiar voice in the sweet re declaration of my name I will even know me who I am and therefore that I amResurrected do you see?Right now therefore I am to hold lightly both death and life and the life which shall be


  2. says:

    I found this book at my public library while looking for another title It is a memoir written 2006 2008 in letters to friends and family It begins with the diagnosis of lung cancer concludes at a period of remission I read this at the end of 2016 Before I had read two chapters I had to know Wangerin's fate; how comforting to discover he lives He used to be a pastor then taught writing at Valparaiso University He asks uirky uestions Why does cancer have to be a battle? How is it heroic? He explains why he doesn't pray for his own healing As a writer he has to prioritize which projects to complete which ones to set aside One letter details how he views death He incidentally uotes two writers whose names always remind me I want to learn Jaroslav Pelikan and Jeremy TaylorA uote so appropriate for those contemplating retirement Ah but as long as I make commitments to others—to teach to sustain to befriend to love as long as I willingly and knowingly schedule new commitments I have no right to self pity My project then To get good and old Spiritually to approach my losses with the same craft and talent and devotion which I bring to the writing of a novel a poem a sermonI appreciate this book While I don't agree with some of his assumptions he challenged my thinking I have a visceral loathing for cremation but an almost eually strong opposition to embalming I found Walter's explanation of how he wanted to be cremated and the ashes buried not scattered plausible which is a first


  3. says:

    Read in two days On my must read before you die list If ever someone is suffering I'm going to give them that book Whether it be cancer or any type of severe suffering this is now my top book to help people understand God and suffering1 of my top 4 books of 2013 The others areThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksHammer of GodThe Invisible Wall A Love Story That Broke Barriers


  4. says:

    I listened to the audio version of this read by the author It's a collection of letters to friends and family that were written while Wangerin was receiving treatments for lung cancer It was meaningful to me because I have a friend who's dying of cancer right now and unwilling to talk about his impending death so I looked to Wangerin to have those discussions with me His letters are honest and he faces his death with true courage Wangerin's hope is in Christ's resurrection and he feels no need to desperately cling to a few months or years on this earth Some would find the letters depressing but I actually found them encouraging and hopefulAnd spoiler alert I just Googled Wangerin and apparently he's still alive at 75


  5. says:

    I got the chance to see Wangerin to literally sit at his feet in a packed room at the 2018 Festival of Faith and Writing He was skeletal with oxygen and he read from his powerful recent poetry This book is from the initial experience of cancer than ten years earlier It is powerful incredible I’ll have to add it to my mental syllabus of books on suffering death and dying


  6. says:

    Very raw and transparent letters of someone facing possible death from cancer It was uite hard to read at parts and the ending was very uick with no resolution


  7. says:

    n December 2005 Walter Wangerin Jrfelt a lump above his clavicle by chance when he reached for a can on a grocery shelf It was Stage IIIB Non Small Cell Lung Cancer The cancer had metastacized from his lung to his lymph nodes but had not yet reached distant organs It was still isolated to the chest area Walter Wangerin Jr is an award winning author of over twenty books His best known stories include The Book of God The Bible as a Novel and The Book of the Dun Cow Wangerin Jr was a senior writing professor at University of Indiana Valparaiso He also preached at his church After being diagnose with lung cancer Walt Wangerin Jr wrote a series of letters to his friends This book is a compilation of Walt’s letters over 2 years and 4 months He survived beyond the average lung cancer survival of eight months after diagnosis I liked this book because Wengerin Jr’s cancer experience reminded me very much of our cancer experience but stretched over a much longer time period Wengerin Jr describes much of the same pain that Garett experienced but would not discuss Garett never mentioned his increasing pain to me at home but when we would meet with our oncologist Garett would reveal that he was experiencing advancing pain in new areas of his body I always felt a little hurt that Garett didn’t tell me first but I know that he did everything that he could to minimize people’s worry about him There was a stunning lack of anger and bitterness is this book Wengerin Jr had an unshakeable faith He incorporated his shining faith and biblical stories into his cancer story He was at complete peace with his cancer In the prologue a blunt physician tells Walt Wengerin Jr “This kind of cancer doesn’t go away It will kill you Sooner or later this will be the cause of your death “ As a side bar Wengerin Jr mentioned that he recently had four molars surgically removed This is relevant because his dental surgeon told him that teeth trouble can be a symptom of cancer As virtuous of a person as Walt Wengerin Jr was even he admitted to feeling offended that the first thing people said upon learning of his diagnosis was Did you smoke? Wengerin Jr acknowledged that he smoked until age 25 but had not smoked in the prior 37 years Early on in treatment Wengerin Jr explains “God does not cause human misery nor does he desire the death of any person on earth But he can and does participate in the complexities of human life He takes therefore advantage of our weaknesses to love our spirits and to prop up our weary bones” I winced when Walt described a familiar sounding racheting cough the one that could not suck in enough Oxygen to allow a good lungfull of air He uestions what can be done when the irritant isn’t something foreign in the lungs but the lungs themselves This journal of the metastatic lung cancer dying process emanates grace


  8. says:

    This is a small and moving book In a series of letters to friends and family Wangerin reflects on cancer its treatment its pain and the selfishness it looses in him He also revels in the family and community that support him Rodney Reeves in his book on Paul's spirituality reflects on the general American Christian avoidance of death Just once I'd like to hear someone boast of the miracle of God's grace for the one who died Her courage as she celebrated life in the middle of dying Wangerin approaches that celebration not with sentimentality but with a realism that acknowledges his own limits and the power of grace Death is not something he fears but somethings he accepts because he has faith in the one who knows him by name Letters 18 and 19 are especially powerful In #18 he uestions the use of battle metaphor when discussing life with cancer I suggest that the true opponent isn't this condition but that for which it stands mortality Now he might have gotten into I Cor 15 and the Orthodox understanding of death as the first enemy overcome in Christ's resurrection but I understand his point in an American culture that believes we can control everything In fighting against mortality we do fight against God and any limits Letter #19 is a private conversation with a student who asked how he handled things He answered Life or death Either one is a gift for me I don't yearn for one over the other And he describes a peace that has come because he knows and trusts that Jesus knows his name see one of the other reviews for a long selection from that section Personal and beautiful and very Wangerin in its delivery


  9. says:

    This is a beautifully written and honest collection of letters and reflections from a prolific author on his experience with the cancer that will one day kill him Wangerin is a Lutheran pastor and professor at Valparaiso University His writing weaves together faith and frailty detailed accounts both of the decline of his body and the acuity of his spiritual journey throughoutThe bulk of the writing is group letters sent to family and friends A few letters never sent are included as well as half a dozen interlude reflectionsThe first thing I noticed was that the letters began in December 2006 but the book cover mentions Wangerin as living this was just published So the effect is that of reading someone who is wrestling with their approaching death while all along knowing that he will survive at least four yearsThere are many profound thoughts along the way Just to give one example Wangerin wonders why we limit the experience of living with and often dying from cancer by resorting to battle language fight battled lost victorious etc Likewise his poetic pondering on how resurrection takes shape is stunningAs a future pastor I found myself marking several places in this book where powerful sermon material may be drawn


  10. says:

    I read this book at the time that my friend Carl found himself diagnosed with stage 4 cancer There are many similarities with Walt Wangerin's life so it was easy to enter into the world of someone who suddenly sees everything through the eyes of someone with a cancer diagnosisAs a man of faith I could also relate to Wangerin's thoughts on another levelI enjoyed how Wangerin described near the end of the book the change in the nature of time usually we think in terms of moving uickly or passing slowly but he used illustrations of how time broadens out and is full comparing touching his grand daughter's finger as a full experience satisfying as living to see her wedding dayI wish I could give the book higher praise but I didn't feel the book had the cohesion or power of other memoirs in this genre