Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fascinating Book, Gray Matter

Here I go again, doing a totally non-knitting post.  Warning.

I've mentioned books before, but generally restrain myself because I read several books a week, and a steady diet of book reviews would be so dull for y'all.  Besides, it's not like I'm Ms. Literature - I read a lot of books just for fun, for instance, before this, I read a murder mystery with folks being killed and buried in the basement of a creepy old house.

This week I read (if you consider listening to part of the book on my Kindle as I drive and do housework, and reading part of the book, "reading") Gray Matter by Joel Kilpatrick and David Levy, and it's worth a posting.  I highly recommend  this book!

Dr. Levy is a neurosurgeon, and the book is about the experiences he has had since he decided to incorporate praying for his patients into his surgical routines.

I've never had a doctor pray for me - have you?  Sometimes, it would sure be nice. I pray for the medical people I've encounter quite a bit.  They don't know I'm praying for them, but what can one think about when a dentist is working in your mouth, or a nurse is trying to hit a vein, or you're lying in a loud MRI machine?  I read somewhere to pray for the people who work on you, and doing that makes me feel better and hopefully blesses them.  I also like to pray (silently) for hairdressers (and probably I'm also praying that they won't wreck my hair).  That's all silent prayer.

Dr. Levy prays WITH people.  Out loud.  He has learned to do this gently, asking permission, and praying very simple prayers.  We can all learn to pray with people, and I hope I develop much more of a habit of offering to pray when appropriate.

I was fascinated by Gray Matter.  I know there are marvelous blessings from a rich prayer life, but I find a lot of books about prayer boring.  I chose this Christian book thinking it was more about medicine and the human brain and less about prayer.

The medical stories were absolutely gripping, so it was a fast read, like watching a medical drama.  However, after finishing it several days ago, Dr. Levy's book has me thinking about prayer, especially about how praying with people creates such unity and comfort.

It was also very interesting to read about what a surgeon's life is like.  I have a young friend (whom I've known since she was tiny) well on her way to being a neurosurgeon, and I kept thinking about her.  Someday she'll be spending hours and hours at a time trying not to damage delicate structures while she does an intricate repair.  Someday she'll be working on people, knowing that no matter how carefully she works, a patient could end up crippled or dead from one of these high-risk procedures.

This book also has thought-provoking stories that explore the importance of mental, spiritual and emotional well-being on physical health, for instance, the importance of being forgiving, or not  living in anger and bitterness, and how sick emotions lead to sick bodies.


  1. Sounds like a very interesting read and one I would enjoy.
    I don't currently have a Kindle either and am thinking of buying myself one; I really want one but my DH says I won't use it and so his negativity is putting me off right now. Maybe I need to say a prayer for him.

  2. Tell your hubby that you can get dozens of books for free to read on my Kindle. I have perhaps 600 books on it or the archive, and most of them were free. I read classics, but many of the free books are new. Christian publishers offer quite a few free books.

    One way you can find out whether you'd like to have a Kindle is to download their Kindle for PC app and try it on your PC. It's not the same experience as having a Kindle, but it'll give you a sense of what's available and provide you with free books.

    I use the text to speech utility on the K2 quite a bit. I listen to books as I drive or do boring chores. This means I can read even more books.

  3. When I was due to go for major surgery, I asked the hospital staff for a member of the clergy to pray with me before they put me under. It was a female clergy of a different denomination, but she was very helpful. I asked that God guide the hands of the surgeon and the OR staff, and that I really would like to see my children marry, but not my will but His Will be done.

    A 90 minute surgery took four hours; after two hours they told my husband they had to give me three transfusions. My husband went to the desk to find out where I was and was told they had no record of me being operated on that day. He was about to become frantic when they wheeled me out to Recovery area. I am blessed in that I believe in prayer.