When I picked up Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had never heard of Michael Kelley or B&H, his publisher. But since this book was recommended by trusted blogger Tim Challies, I knew it had to be good.
And it was.
Michael Kelley’s story begins, in fact, very normally. Within moments, however, a routine doctor’s visit turns highly abnormal. Kelley’s two-year-old son is diagnosed with leukemia. Treatment must begin immediately. Life suddenly isn’t as straightforward as a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich.
One element of Kelley’s book that I so appreciated was its honesty. He reveals every inch of doubt, poses every question, and marvels at the surreal reality of caring for a sick child. Michael and his family have told all, and readers greatly benefit. Read the book yourself! I couldn’t begin to summarize his son’s battle with cancer in a few words, and I wouldn’t want to deprive you of coming alongside Michael and the Kelleys. On the most surface level, this book would be a great companion to any family struggling with serious illness – especially the illness of a child. A camaraderie is established between Kelley and his audience, the effect is incredibly encouraging.
Of course, a book about “a boy, cancer, and God” would be useless (and I go so far as to say pointless) without answers. There lies the beauty of Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal. Michael Kelly grabs readers by the hand, inviting them to not only walk on his family’s physical journey but also their spiritual journey. Drawing from several biblical accounts, Kelley places himself in the shoes, as it were, of these men of faith. I love how we are able to see God working on Kelley’s heart even as God worked on the hearts of those in Scripture.
Furthermore, Kelley understands the implications of suffering and sickness in a broken world. Suffering is ever present in our world and, in fact, the marks of suffering will never go away on Earth. What, then? How do we respond? “Until then, we continue to walk with God,” Kelley writes, “To limp with God. That limp, that brokenness that will go with us until the end…reminds us of the God who is worthy of our trust.”
Trust in the Lord: my prayer is that would be your new normal.