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Facing Pain, Finding Hope: A Physician Examines Pain, Faith, and the Healing Stories of Jesus Hardcover – September 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
A specialist in treating pain, Hurley wrote this book out of efforts to relate his medical practice to the way Jesus healed. He draws parallels between gospel stories and his patients, portrayed in composites to shield their identities. In one such illustration, he pairs the story of "Hank," who was trapped in a prolonged cycle of medical treatment, with the New Testament account of the lame man who waited 38 years for someone to plunge him into the waters of a healing pool. As he expands upon these stories, Hurley adds his own poems, prayers and probing "Questions for Your Health." What makes his book more than a collection of lofty musings is his approach to medicine; he is clearly not a pill-and-procedure doctor, but one who digs deeply to help patients learn how their mental states and lives affect their pain. Although the stories from his practice are compelling, the most touching are those about his brother, Michael, who has cerebral palsy, and Patrick and Julie, friends who died well before their time. Hurley did not intend his book as a how-to for pain management, but it will be a valuable companion for those who suffer with chronic pain. (Oct.)
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Harvard-trained physician Daniel Hurley lives in a world of suffering—the Chicago hospitals and the examining rooms of a famous clinic where he treats patients afflicted with chronic pain. He uses all the tools of modern medicine in his work of healing, but his patients’ struggles frequently raise questions of faith. In Facing Pain, Finding Hope, Dr. Hurley explores what he calls “the intimacy of suffering and faith.” It is a place where afflicted people encounter the Jesus of the Gospels—“a doctor with no rushed appointment schedule, no need of malpractice insurance.”
Dr. Hurley shows how an intimate reading of the gospels can open new horizons of healing for people in pain. He invites sufferers—and those who live with them—into a dialogue with Jesus the healer. “He will not shirk the questions asked of him,” he writes. “The question is how we will handle the questions
he poses to us.”
Top customer reviews
Dr. Hurley is the brilliant, yet kind and caring physician we all wish we could find to help us and abide with us when we are at our lowest, and feeling our worst. Without preaching or ever being "churchy," he gently points the suffering reader to the spiritual dimension of their situation, and uses the gospel healing stories to remind us that we do not suffer alone, we do not suffer in vain, and that there is a Great Physician who did and does still heal, if we will let Him. He may often work His healing through the gifted hands of medical professionals and their modern advances, but Dr. Hurley reminds us we are the most important conduit of our own healing and to getting better again. We have to first believe it is possible, and Dr. Hurley tells us how.
He draws the reader into some very compelling, deep reflections and insights about those blessed souls who were actually healed by Jesus in His time (such as the woman with the hemorrhage of 12 years' duration, and the paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda). Each is an archetype for those who suffer, everywhere, in every age. When you read this incredibly well written and sensitive book, Dr. Hurley, with compassion but without sugarcoating it, illuminates you as to how your own mindset about your pain might be like that of one or more of these biblical characters, and once you recognize this, what you might be able to do to free yourself from what holds you back from your own healing (or at the least some true improvement in your circumstances).
Dr. Hurley's medical practice working with patients who suffer from chronic pain has given him first hand experience with those who suffer sometimes intractable situations. He has faced pain in his own life as well, as witness to the medical problems of those close to him, which he shares quite intimately with the reader, and these experiences allow him to speak not only with authority but also with true sensitivity and understanding.
Dr. Hurley never belittles the suffering reader, nor talks down to the actions, inactions or despair of a pain filled life, which may often feel or seem utterly hopeless. He is especially credible in that he agrees that some, even many, situations do not have easy answers, but he points out that while you are still in your suffering, there can be change, and hope and improvement, even if it is only in how you view your situation.
If you suffer chronic pain, be it from illness, injury, accident, disability or any other loss, this is a book you really must read. If you are close to someone who suffers, you know how hard it is to watch someone you love suffer so. If you don't know what you can do to help them anymore, do them a great favor and get them this book--it could well be the true hand up that they need to begin to pull themselves out of their despairing situation and put themselves back on the road to hope and health.
And those who have meet or been treated by Dr. Hurley has indeed been blessed, he is heaven sent.