Molly Baskette bears witness to the most vulnerable, aching, confusing, and frail moments in people's lives. She has served as a pastor to people convicted of heinous crimes, those living with treatment-resistant depression and PTSD, people suffering from unremitting eating disorders, domestic and sexual abuse survivors, those experiencing pregnancy loss or divorce, people fleeing violence in another country, and those coming out as queer to fundamentalist parents or discerning their true gender. But when she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer at age thirty-nine, Baskette's understanding of God changed.
The truth is that not one of us will make it through this life unscathed. Suffering will come. Our resiliency in life comes not just from suffering, but from how we find meaning in it all. Many of us see belief in God and religion, generally, as about arranging the religious truths we know into a cohesive system, a blueprint, for understanding faith and meeting real-world challenges. In her witty and thoughtful way, Baskette tosses aside that blueprint and pointedly asks us to explore our assumptions about our faith, our life, and our purpose. Spoiler alert: she beat the cancer. But that didn't stop life from happening--there was still hardship and a church fire and suffering. And there was still God, helping Baskette make meaning of it all. Weaving together her cancer experience and the stories of those she has encountered in her life of faith, Baskette helps us press a thumb against the bruise of the reality that this sweet, hard, wonderful gig of being human will someday come to an end and perhaps sooner than we expect. In doing so, she finds hope, banishes fear, and helps us--and herself--find our way back from despair.