An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dr. Ben Carson, Speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, a New Hero?

Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, left,  is being hailed as a  new "hero” by many these days on Fox News, in “The Atlantic Journal”   and in lots of casual conversations all around the place, ever  since he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7.  But he’s been my hero for a long time.  

I’ve been bragging about Dr. Ben Carson since 2007, when he became my neurosurgeon. (You'll see other postings with mentions of Dr. Carson by researching his name on this blog.)

Dr. Carson has also been a hero in medicine for years, world renown among neurosurgeons, beginning in 1987 when he performed a milestone surgery that successfully separated conjoined twins.  He serves as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, having been named director at just 33 years old.  An accomplished surgeon, author, family man, and education advocate, he lives in a way that inspires others towards reaching for higher goals.  A TNT movie starring Cuba Gooding was released in 2009, based upon his best selling biography, Gifted Hands.  It’s not a documentary, but a poignant and inspiring film, gritty at points as it portrays a young boy who had no reason to become the man he now is. (Details about that below.) 

I would venture to say that Dr. Carson was better known by the general public twenty years ago, than he is today.. Before faith was thrown so far out of the public arena, many school districts required their middle school students to read his inspirational best-selling autobiography Gifted Hands, published in 1990.  

Ever since that prayer breakfast speech, I’ve been telling people “Now you know who
 I’m talking about--that’s my neurosurgeon!”

Every single person’s response has been pretty much the same.  He or she will look at me, 
wide-eyed and say, “No, way.  You’re kidding!”

--Gee, what a way to make a girl feel I not “worthy” enough to have had him as
 my surgeon now that they know who he really is?!   : ) --

Once they recover, they usually ask if he’s truly that amazing, to which I reply, “Absolutely...positively. 
He’s the real deal.”

Regardless of where your politics lie--to the left or to the right-- who Dr. Carson is (what is his character) and how he lives are profoundly important to consider.  I’ll share just three examples to ponder:

1 - He gives all authority to God.
Dr. Carson didn’t hesitate to speak what was in his heart during the prayer breakfast a few weeks ago, even though his words were, at times, not kind towards how the US is managed, with the leader of the US sitting just two seats away.   He makes it clear whenever he speaks that God is his authority, and scripture his guidebook.  That doesn’t mean he is disrespectful; instead, he uses godly wisdom and truths to inform his thinking and decision-making.
He is not self-righteous, however.  I’ve never seen even a glint of this kind of behavior in him.  Instead, he is humble, and servant-hearted.  He told me that God is the glove into which he puts his hands before he performs brain surgery. He recognizes God has “gifted” him with a special ability, just as He gifts others. Dr. Carson also shared something beautiful with my husband and I.  He said that he views the brain as “a beautiful organ,” telling us that when the skull is cut open, the dura pulled back, and the brain revealed, “I know I have entered the true essence of the person. His  thoughts, his feelings, all he is and can be resides there in my hands.  I must never take that lightly.”  

To say it gave us more peace before I later was wheeled into 
the operating room to have my skull cut open, is an understatement!  

You must see his movie “Gifted Hands”  to get a sense of where Dr. Carson came from and what made him who he is.  Netflix has it available for instant watch; so does Amazon Instant Video.  I’m sure others do as well.  Or, you can purchase it for about $11.00 on-line.  It’s an inspiring movie, starring one of my favorite actors, Oscar Winner,  Cuba Gooding.  A movie you can watch with your older kids--it has some mature themes so it’s not for the little ones.  (Preview it first, so you can decide.) It will help you understand who Dr. Carson was and how God used his weaknesses to grow him into a brave man, who backs down to no one or nothing.

To be continued... 

Until Next Time,

Warren and I at my final post-op check-up with Dr. Carson.  September, 2008.


  1. Judi-
    Way to Go!! Thank you God for bringing Dr. Carson to Judi-a major blessing has been given to this Doctor in having YOU as his patient!
    Nobody is MORE deserving than you my dear. I saw a piece of his speech and thought "Thank you God-this man speaks from his spiritual heart!"

    You will always have a special relationship with him~~I am learning there are very few doctors out there who are truly led by the MASTER. People look at me like I have lost my mind when I tell them my doctor calls me at home on a Sunday afternoon-just to say Hello and to see how I am doing.

    I believe a doctor can truly CARE about his patient- and they can become FRIENDS--and yet the Doctor/Patient boundary line is still respected by both. People ask me why I enjoy giving a gift to my doctor--"everybody likes to get a gift now and then-it makes us feel loved!" Seems things get quiet when those words are spoken.

    You have been on my mind---praying things are some better for you. I have been in a battle with Pain like I never dreamed could happen.
    One day-one step. Ups and downs.

    But we keep on keepin on!!! love you Judi. Martha

  2. It is awesome when a doctor cares. I try to spread the message that "Doctors don't have to cure, but they must care". Otherwise, they should get into another business.

    So, so sorry that you are in an even more difficult battle with pain than ever. That is hard for me to imagine, given the level of pain you have lived with. How deep and how wide it must be--only the peace and care of Christ can go deeper and wider still. I am praying right now that you will know without a doubt that it is reaching you.

    1. Judi-
      There could be no better person to spread that simple message that Doctors NEED to hear~~~~"Doctors don't have to cure, but they must CARE!!" No better words could ever be said--and if you do not mind, I beg your permission to use them~~~and I will explain why. Yes my friend--the Pain is taking me to a level of being miserable--never thought possible, but its here.

      Your words offer me PEACE and HOPE--as I read the Last line of your response, I paused for a few seconds and felt everything ease for just a bit. I know The Lord is beside me and helping me. How I pray you are having some relief. Just know you are always in my thoughts and prayers. martha