Rod Dreher's younger sister, Ruthie Leming, was diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was only 40 years old. A beloved middle school teacher, mother to three young girls, and the happy wife of her high school sweetheart, she faced cancer with the conviction that whatever happened to her, God would bring good out of her illness. Her small town of St. Francisville, Louisiana, (population 1,700) rallied to her side during the struggle. But she died in her husband's arms, in a harrowing scene vividly recounted by Rod Dreher in his new book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life.

The whole ordeal led Rod, a journalist who had worked in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Dallas, to re-evaluate his life and move home for the first time in 20 years. He joined me to discuss faith, tragedy, family, love, and the secret of a good life. You can download or stream the audio below.

Rod Dreher on the Little Way of Ruthie Leming

Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of of Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists, and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine, co-edited Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, and co-edits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Collin Hansen


Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of of Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists, and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine, co-edited Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, and co-edits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter.

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