This poignant love story of a father for his son is at once funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful. In it a young man teaches his entire family “a new way to die” with wit, candor, and, always, remarkable grace. This emotionally riveting account probes the heart without sentimentality or self-pity.
As the book opens, Richard Lischer’s son, Adam, calls to tell his father, a professor of divinity at Duke University, that his cancer has returned. Adam is a smart, charismatic young man with a promising law career, and an unlikely candidate for tragedy. That his young wife is pregnant with their first child makes the disease’s return all the more devastating. Despite the crushing magnitude of his diagnosis and the cruel course of the illness, Adam’s growing weakness evokes in him an unexpected strength. This is the story of one last summer and the young man who lived it as honestly and faithfully as possible. We meet Adam in many phases of his growing up, but always through the narrow lens of his undying hope, when in the final season of his life he becomes his family’s (and his father’s) spiritual leader. Honest in its every dimension, Stations of the Heart is an unforgettable book about life and death and the terrible blessing of saying good-bye.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
We all handle grief differently. Some repress it, some exploit it, only the brave dare to feel it and let it teach them new truth about what it means to be a human being. This book, written by a clergyman, about the death of his 33 year old son, is the brave story of a family that faced death with compassion, sincerity, aching pain and triumphant faith and transformation. Having been through this kind of grief myself, and virtually at the same time as the Lischers, I lived it all over again. Often I had to put the book down until I could dare to face it again.
This is a book for people of faith, but it is for people of a particular kind of faith. This will hardly satisfy the dogmatic. It is not out to paste band aids over the wounds of fear and loss. It faces hard questions and learns to live with a faith that depends solely on holding hands in the center of darkness. I was deeply moved by this journey of 93 days while a young man comes to terms with mortality as...
Little did I think 33 years ago when I chose a class with the new professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School that I would encounter him again through his writings, a workshop, and Convocation gatherings. Each time has been more than a lesson here and a lesson there. I discovered the core of ministry through the Word, however it may be delivered. Reading Stations of the Heart is indeed the Word about death as it comes uninvited to a son and thereby affects an entire family and a community as well. Richard Lischer has offered the reader the Eucharist as it occurs through what ordinary lives offer to the extraordinary love of family. And then to the community around that family. As one who reads widely and makes attempts at writing, I was immersed as well in the amazing gift and grasp of words to tell that story. I know that in the beginning was the Word, but now I know the power of words when delivered by one of the masters of Story. His beautiful and moving descriptions...
I read this book, because not only did I lose a daughter, but my dad is going to lose me - different condition than in this book, but it is still going to happen. I wanted to see how it was handled in this book, and thought I might gain some insight to pass on. I found it extremely interesting that the Father, was actually a Father - or a minister, and how his son who was dying gained faith (which I have lost) and the father in this book is the one who lost his faith. It somewhat turns by the end, and I did find several passages to be helpful, but mostly interesting to find that it isn't just ordinary people who lose their faith... and men and women of the cloth can do the same. I would recommend this book to others if for no other reason than that perspective. However, I also found the son who was having a baby that he wouldn't live for interesting in how he tried to leave things behind from gifts to videotapes of him to give to the baby on various birthdays an interesting idea. It...
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