Baltimore Sun writer Randi Henderson teamed up with author Richard Marek to offer Here Is My Hope
, an outstanding collection of true stories of healing and faith based on the patients of Johns Hopkins Hospital. The writers focus their stories around the 10-foot statue of Christ in the main rotunda of the hospital. With its reassuring eyes and outstretched arms, the statue seems to exude the compassion that the ill and their loved ones yearn for when they enter the unknown territory of a hospital. Rather than being a religious icon, though, it has served to represent a place for people of all faiths and backgrounds to lay their hopes and prayers for healing.
In the first chapter we meet Grayson Gilbert, a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a usually fatal disease. With grace and eloquence, the authors tell of Grayson's unusual lethargy that led to the discovery of a cancerous mass in his abdomen and a rushed admission into Johns Hopkins. While he was hospitalized he befriended some of the small children in his ward. Still uncertain of his recovery, he left this note beside the statue, "Dear Jesus, This is Grayson. If you could just heal the other kids, please. Thank you very much." Ultimately Grayson did survive, as do many others who leave their hopes at the feet of this benefactor. Even with all the impressive scientific research that's been recently published on the link between faith and healing, this collection of stories stands as one of the most exquisite and convincing testaments. --Gail Hudson
In a poignant if accidental metaphor for the changing religious landscape in America, at the center of this wonderful book stands the statue of Christ Consolater
at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. It once stood at the hospital's center but, as a result of expansion, now resides in a little-used rotunda. Still, many seek it out, and the foot of the divine healer is worn with a century's worth of touches. This book tells six of the statue's stories, including that of an African American heart surgeon who operated on his father and that of a young couple whose premature twins could not hold on to life. The incidental analysis of the medical utility of prayer may be off-putting to the religiously ambivalent, and the focus on the statue prevents a diversity of religious perspectives. Still, this is one of the better books dealing with the human side of the relationship between illness and faith, and the stories it tells will inspire the sort of healing that medicine cannot achieve. John GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved