David Levy was a hard charging, high achieving neurosurgeon who loved his work and was good at it when he became convinced that he wanted to pray with his patients before their operations.Though he was certain about his desire, Dr Levy was perhaps for the first time in his career nervous and apprehensive He was afraid he would come across as soft, superstitious, unprofessional, or even worse, that his skills were in need of divine help He was worried that patients might not want spiritual intervention and resent his intrusion He was afraid others might overhear him He wondered if prayer should even factor into his brain surgeries The role of prayer in health care, he notes, is itself a gray matter But one day he plunges ahead To his surprise, he finds that not only do his patients and their families appreciate his prayers, but he discovers a new confidence and joy in his work In time, after he goes public with his prayers, he finds that nurses and colleagues are surprisingly supportive, and many even ask to join his prayer circles The experience has been nothing short of phenomenal, he says.From his simple desire to pray, Dr Levy expands his efforts to heal his patients minds and spirits as well as their bodies He becomes bolder in bringing spirituality into the medical picture and finds that adapting biblical concepts like forgiveness into doable steps often brings patients to a place of peace and comfort.This is a well written, finely paced story of the kind of doctor you would want to find wielding the instruments if you were flat on your back on an operating table Dr Levy is the anti House, a calm and reassuring presence in times of great fear and anxiety Though he probably charges around the corridors of a hospital with the same sense of purpose as a Dr House, this book illuminates those still moments in the exam or pre op room when it s just a doctor and his patient, quietly preparing to face down a brain gone haywire It s a terrific read for your gray matter Inspiring book It made me want to be a doctor A medical doctor, that is.
In the memoirGray Matter , Dr David Levy shares his journey to combine medicine and faith Dr Levy slowly came to faith over a period of years, but eventually he began to chafe at compartmentalizing his belief in Christ However, he found that most medical professionals he worked with especially his fellow surgeons considered themselves men of science who were above spiritual concerns Yet he became convinced that God wanted Him to pray aloud with his patients before their surgeries Initially this idea scared him, and he came up with a list he entitled.Reasons Not To 1.To call on a higher power would be to admit weakness or lack of control.2.Patients may be offended.3.If I pray and things go badly, I might ruin patient s faith.4.Separation of physical and spiritual is important.5.I ll lose my reputation.6.I wanted the credit for successes myself In spite of these concerns, he writes,Through all my questions and doubts I felt an inner voice saying to me, If you are worried about being misunderstood, I can promise you that you will be Jesus was But you still need to do the right thing So Dr Levy chooses a patient and dives in He describes how he decided which patient to begin with and then his hesitation in praying in front of the nurse He makes small talk with the family during an excruciating wait for the nurse to leave, and then he asks his patient,Do you mind if I pray for you Thus begins his incredible journey Soon he is praying in front of family members, nurses, technicians, and even his fellow doctors and surgeons and all with amazing results The stories he shares of his patients responses are by turns inspiring, amusing, uplifting, and poignant With his prayers Dr Levy ushered in opportunities to lead patients and family members to Christ.The following excerpt will give you a feel for Dr Levy s bedside mannerI know that I have given you a lot to think about Would it be okay if I said a prayer with you I asked in a tone that made it safe for her to say no if she wished I had asked earlier about her spiritual history and learned that her parents were Catholic but that she did not attend services.She tilted her head to one side and looked at me curiously, as if reading a financial report she didn t understand She relaxed slightly and nodded Uh, okay, she said, a little confused Fine I slid my rolling chair over to her and slowly reached out my hand As surprised as she was, she instinctively reached out with both of her hands and grabbed it as if grabbing a lifeline.I bowed my head to give her privacy Then I began to pray God, thank you for Maria and for allowing us to find this problem, I said, This is a surprise to us but no surprise to you I am asking that this aneurysm not cause her any problems until we can fix it Please give her peace and good sleep leading up to this surgery God, we are asking you for success for this surgery Give her the sense that you are with her In Jesus name, Amen Thank you, Dr Levy, she said with a sparkle in her eyes that spoke of calm and hope I ve never prayed with a doctor before I smiled I d heard that many times This simple act had done what no conversation, no psychological analysis, no recitation of the medical facts had ever done, in my experience She had received something no insurance company, medical provider, surgeon, or drug could offer confidence and peace from a simple prayer And even, I believe, a welcome touch from God Here s Dr Levy s official conclusion on the role of faith in healingMy goal as a professional is to use my skills and knowledge to help people have the best lives possible, for as long as possible This includes emotional as well as physical health, because the two are interrelated Emotions can create health or cause disease, and spiritual health affects emotional health Laughter and joy are known to restore and encourage health, while bitterness and resentment promote disease Forgiveness has well documented health benefits One s concept of God can cause ongoing joy or ongoing anxiety These issues are not incidental but are central to health My conclusion Many folks will be in the kingdom of heaven because of the compassion of this good manI reviewed this book as part of the Tyndale Summer Reading Program. Wow, what an emotional rollercoaster This was an amazing book It is very well written and easy to read You get drawn into his reflections of self awareness and discovery and rejoice with him in all his successes and join him in sorrow when things don t go as planned All along he is taking you on your own spiritual journey Each chapter you are introduced to some of his patients and their diagnoses and problems Not all patients are healed with surgical skill alone and some are healed without it A great book. Physicians who write about their craft Atul Gawande, for example have a willing audience in me, so I didn t hesitate to pick up this one when I came across it Turns out that the practice of medicine forms the setting, but the actual subject matter is prayer Despite the subtitle, the degree of that focus took me a little by surprise.Almost all of the content is a series of interactions with various patients ranging from a fetching two year old to a crisp upper level business executive to a retired mercenary who come to the author with brain aneurysms, tumors, and similar dire conditions At the beginning of the book, Dr Levy has recently begun praying in private with his patients prior to their surgeries, and he is overcoming fear of professional backlash in order to pray openly in the presence of nurses and even other doctors.Each of the anecdotes he tells is interesting enough in its own right, but after 100 pages I was beginning to wonder about the back story What could have led him to do something that obviously comes as a surprise to people every time he suggests it But then he pauses in the narrative to provide that information At least, he tells a little about his early years, about a starting out working in a gas station, with no serious career plans, and suddenly realizing that medicine sounds interesting b making up his mind in med school to be the best, to the extent that he alienates some of his peers and c beginning to commune with a voice in his head that sometimes challenges what he s doing.Having provided that much summary, he resumes the stories of treating patients It seems that in many cases prayer or at least the soul searching that is prompted by prayer and discussion is often demonstrably beneficial But not always Some surgeries do not go well, and some outcomes are tragic Those become the subject of further prayer.All this is very touching, as is the almost childlike eagerness of many patients and professional people alike to join with him I would appreciate having such a doctor, because I believe Western medicine errs in taking too narrow a view of illness and treatment But if I had access to Dr Levy, there are a lot of questions I d want to ask The apparent ease with which he entered the medical profession after his inauspicious start, and with which he became an effective spiritual guide on top of being a highly esteemed neurosurgeon, does not mesh with my own experience and observations To me, it feels like he s leaving something out. Very interesting It proved what I ve always believed many physical illnesses are results of spiritual mental issues I admire the way he held on to what he believed and Who he believed in in a field where God is not recognized enough If in the medical field were like him, I wonder where it would lead. An inspiring read To read of a spiritual journey of one who supplicates to god when expected to atleast equal him as a NeuroSurgeon, is very humbling Hatsoff to Dr.Levy s inner urge to help patients as people and not as a medical case, and to give them a chance at holistic healing.Mention about sin and Jesus dying for our sins made me cringe, but the spontaneous healing that confession and forgiveness brought to people was jaw dropping The two are not simple acts, they need immense courage to accept one s mistakes and let go of others The psychosomatic relations are beautifully highlighted.The style of writing was appealing, esp how the last sentence of the chapter was indicative of what the next chapter was about.More than anything, it regenerated my awe of the Central Processing Unit of the human body. Very inspiring I love the way this doctor touches his patients hearts with God s love I believe as a doctor you re called not only to heal the physicals problems of the body, but also the heart, the soul, and to truly represent Jesus This doctor is a true example of an authentic faith living As a future young doctor, he really inspired me, and answered to my question how to combine faith and science, God s love and medicine This book is an answer (EBOOK) ⚝ Gray Matter ï A Perfect Blend Of Medical Drama And Spiritual Insight, Gray Matter Is A Fascinating Account Of Dr David Levy S Decision To Begin Asking His Patients If He Could Pray For Them Before Surgery Some Are Thrilled Some Are Skeptical Some Are Hostile, And Some Are Quite Literally Transformed By The Request Each Chapter Focuses On A Specific Case, Opening With A Detailed Description Of The Patient S Diagnosis And The Procedure That Will Need To Be Performed, Followed By The Prayer Request From There, Readers Get To Look Over Dr Levy S Shoulder As He Performs The Operation, And Then We Wait Right Alongside Dr Levy, The Patients, And Their Families To See The Final Results Dr Levy S Musings On What Successful And Unsuccessful Surgical Results Imply About God, Faith, And The Power Of Prayer Are Honest And Insightful As We Watch Him Come To His Ultimate Conclusion That No Matter What The Results Of The Procedure Are, God Is Good, We Cannot Help But Be Truly Moved And Inspired Such an inspiring and convicting book To see God work through a neurosurgeon and his patients is really encouraging It just goes to show you that God equips us to do what we think we can t, especially when he chooses to speak to others through us This book had me on the edge of my seat at some points, it was tough to put down Dr Levy has done a great job of conveying his experiences and passion in this book.