Today informed us that a well-known and very successful Christian author has died from complications of the flu.
Rachel Held Evans, a bestselling Christian writer, died from complications from the flu on Saturday (5/4/2019) at age 37. Her husband, Dan Evans, shared the sad news with the public on Held Evans’ blog, which he had been updating with news of her medical condition since she was admitted to the hospital in April.
Evans was admitted to the hospital last month with the flu. After a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics, she began having seizures. On April 19, two of her friends and colleagues, Sarah Bessey and Jeff Chu, announced #PrayforRHE, a global online prayer vigil. The hashtag trended on Twitter almost immediately.
Doctors placed Evans in a medically induced coma in an attempt to save her life, but the seizures returned after she was weaned off the medication. She developed swelling on the brain and died on Saturday morning.
“I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake,” her husband wrote.
Evans was the author of several books, including 2018’s “Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again,” and mom to two small children, a 3-year-old boy, and an almost 1-year-old baby girl. The popular Christian author was known for challenging the Evangelical establishment and exploring themes of faith, doubt, and life in the Bible Belt.
Back when many white evangelical women preferred to avoid hot button topics like race, LGBTQ exclusion, sexual abuse, and politics, Evans took them on with a signature mix of earnestness, grace, accountability, and humor. For as many fans as she had, she had — and sparred with — a great many detractors.
A native of Dayton, Tennessee, she often sparred with popular male Christian leaders such as John Piper on subjects like the #MeToo movement. The self-described “doubt-filled believer” was a staunch supporter of LGBTQ inclusion in the Christian community and didn’t shy away from tough topics such as racism and abuse in the church.
The death of this original voice is particularly difficult as she leaves behind two small children, who she sometimes posted about on social media.
Between my trip to San Francisco and the flu, Dan has basically been solo parenting 2 little kids for a week and a half. When I thanked him for stepping up, he looked adoringly at our little girl and said, “Well look what I’ve got to work with!”
“Sweet as she can be,” Held Evans captioned a photo of her newborn daughter’s tiny feet just less than a year ago.
Held Evans’ Twitter account was flooded with words of sympathy and messages of support for her family.
Her husband said that the whole situation was “surreal” and that it felt like “I’m telling someone else’s story.” Held Evans’ ideas and work will live on through her blog and books and through her family and followers.
“It is with a broken heart I post this: my sweet friend Rachel died this morning,” author and pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber tweeted. “I will forever be grateful for her friendship and work and love. Thank you for your prayers.”
Rachel Held Evans was an American Christian columnist, blogger, and author. Her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood was on The New York Times’ e-book non-fiction best-seller list.
Ref. today.com, wikipedia, fortune.com
Photo courtesy of Bing via faithform.com