I've never met Kate Bowler, but I heard Terry Gross interview her on "Fresh Air" (which is why I read her book), and I'm pretty sure she would love the card.
Bowler, who teaches at Duke Divinity School, is the author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford, 2013). The prosperity gospel is attractive: God wants you to be healthy and wealthy! And so if you trust God enough, and get rid of the sins that hold you back, and think positively, and (often) donate money to some ministry, God will make you prosper!
Except when he doesn't. Suppose, for example, that, like Bowler, you contract a mysterious neurological impairment that baffles doctors and keeps you from using your hands. Suppose you lose a much-wanted child to miscarriage. Suppose you discover at age 35 that you have stage 4 colon cancer.
Is your suffering your fault? Did you not trust enough, give enough, repent enough? Is God trying to teach you something? Is he using you to teach someone else?
No, says Bowler. These things happen because we're human.
Read this book if you've ever wondered why people suffer--or if you think you already know the reason.
Read it if you've ever wondered what to say to somebody whose has had a sobering diagnosis, or who has lost a loved one, or who is going through some other painful crisis.
Read it, too, if you've ever wondered what not to say. The two Appendixes alone are worth the price of the book: "Absolutely never say this to people experiencing terrible times: a short list" and "Give this a go, see how it works: a short list."
Read it if you appreciate memoirs that are introspective but not self-absorbed, wise but not preachy, ironic but not unkind, often hilarious but never, ever chirpy.
And read it if you like good writing about what it means to be human that will make you laugh as well as cry.
I went back to Google and asked for "Kate Bowler, Everything Happens for a Reason." Here's what the cover looks like. I hope you read the book.