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REVIEW OF LOVING YOUR FRIEND THROUGH CANCER

11/03/2018


LOVING YOUR FRIEND THROUGH CANCER
(Moving Beyond “I’m Sorry” to Meaningful Support)
By Marissa Henley; P & R Publications

This is the perfect book to put in the Church Library and every pastor should have a copy in his library. But it is not for everyone nor every Christian in a local church. Why? Well the subtitle says it all: Moving Beyond “I’m Sorry” to Meaningful Support. So often fellow Christians are not spiritually and emotionally prepared to help another believer struggle
with a life effecting illness that is not going away any time soon.

Cancer is a big boogeyman in our culture because it is so deadly and it takes more than a wan smile and a brief promise of prayer to truly be of any help. Some Christians coping with cancer do not expect much from their church friends who are busy coping with their own lives and set of problems. But sensitive souls are grieved when few if any seem to care or come along side to help. This book equips those who want to help but need guidance in thinking through what is needed, what is not helpful and where to begin. It would make an excellent Sunday School class or weekend seminar. In 250+ pages the author is comprehensive and careful to show all the various problems that come with a cancer diagnosis and how needs change over time.

The chapter titles are explicit:

1. WHEN CANCER STRIKES A FRIENDSHIP—facing your new assignment

2. CIRCLES—knowing your role as friend or acquaintance

3. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH—struggles you will face

4. WHEN RELIGIOUS PLATITUDES FAIL YOU—how to avoid saying the wrong thing

5. DIAGNOSIS—a stressful beginning

6. YOUR FRIEND IS A SICK PERSON—understanding physical needs

7. EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS TO GET DONE—tackling logistical needs

8. HEART—nurturing emotional needs

9. MIND—questions your friends is asking

10. SOUL—praying and understanding spiritual needs

11. WHEN HER HUSBAND, PARENT OR CHILD HAS CANCER—supporting a friend as she cares
for others

12. WHEN THERE’S NO CURE—supporting a friend through chronic or terminal illness

13. WHEN ITS NOT REALLY OVER—supporting a friend through survivorship

PRACTICAL SUPPORT RESOURCES—forms and readings for helping your friend

I hope this book has a long life and ministers to many cancer victims and their friends who use this tool. Thank you Marissa Henley for using your survivorship to write this book and help
so many.


Steve Martin
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
DEAN OF STUDENTS; IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN TEXAS


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