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Speaking the Truth in Love

Cover of 50 Thorns and Blossoms

The basics of Nancy Bauer-King’s story are far too common: a global pandemic, a beloved spouse in memory care, and a set of protocols that kept her from being at his side in his last months and at the moment of his death. Forced to journey grief’s path without the usual rituals to connect her to others and her memories of Charlie, Nancy struggled. Then one day, she happened upon a treasure trove: boxes filled with sermons from Charlie’s 60 years as a United Methodist pastor—many that had been preached before they’d ever met—a whole new window into the man she’d known and loved.

The compendium of his thoughts and beliefs and teachings provided a focus for her grief. Soon, she was writing back to him: reflections, rebuttals, reminiscences. She had started on the path to healing. Sometimes funny, sometimes argumentative, always thought-provoking, Nancy’s dialogue with Charlie and these selected sermons shows us the power of love and the benefit of “carrying on the conversation” with our loved ones even after their physical bodies have passed on.

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