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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gray Matter

Tyndale House Publishers sent me an Advanced Reader's Copy of Gray Matter for the purpose of review.  This book was written by highly respected Neurosurgeon, Dr. David Levy who practices both nuero and endovascular surgery in San Diego, California.  His book is to be released in March of this year.

I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book.  I've been interested in the medical field ever since I was a little girl.  I once thought I might be a surgical nurse "when I grew up" and was addicted to the television show ER in it's beginning.  Social Work ended up being my career when I worked outside of the home and I loved the interaction with physicians and psychiatrists.

Gray Matter is Dr. Levy's story of his decision to be bold about his faith in an area where if the medical outcome is good it was a result of good medicine and if the outcome is bad then it was surely God's fault.  Here's a description of the book from the back cover:
"A perfect blend of pulse-racing medical drama and profound spiritual insight, Gray Matter not only provides a fascinating glimpse into the elite field of neurosurgery as we watch Levy perform some of the most challenging surgical procedures in medicine today; it also provides a refreshingly candid and revealing glimpse into the heart and mind of a neurosurgeon - those divinely fallible beings we sometimes expect to play God."
In each chapter the reader hears the story of a different patient's diagnosis and Dr. Levy's experience of introducing prayer as part of his pre and post-op interactions with the patient.  Along the way the reader gets an inside look at the spiritual transformation that takes place in Dr. Levy's life as well as the amazing journey of some of his patients.

In Gray Matter Dr. Levy speaks very candidly about his personal struggles with his bold approach in combining his faith with his practice of medicine.  As you read each chapter you begin to be encouraged to be bold in your own faith as you witness the doctor's faith grow despite the loss of some patients and the rejection of others to his offer of prayer.  Here's the doctor's thoughts after a most intense experience with a two year old patient:
 "Never again could I accuse God of being unfeeling or uncaring, because now I was certain I had no grounds to do so. I would never have all the information; He did.  My job was to work with a much skill as I could and declare that God was good in every circumstance.  I might not like what He did, or understand why He would let someone suffer or die - but that was His decision, not mine."
The book is very well written.  It is really the perfect blend of the technical medical talk (Dr. Levy does an excellent job of taking the reader step by step through the surgery explaining the technical aspects in a way that the average person learns something.) and expert story telling.  You will be hooked from chapter to chapter.  I walked away greatly encouraged and thanking God that he has men and women like Dr. Levy in the medical field.

Gray Matter can be pre-ordered at