Gifts of Sight – Bruce Shields

When you read a book, do you imagine the narrator’s voice? For me, Dr. Bruce Shields’ moving, carefully penned, and heartfelt series of memoirs was spoken in a fatherlike voice. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to sit down with the author afterwards and have a conversation, then hug him. I think you may find the same.

Gifts of Sight will reawaken you the joy of sight through the myriad stories Dr. Shields shares from his decades of practice in treating patients for glaucoma at Duke and Yale hospitals. From the poignant sorrow of witnessing parents weep over their children’s inability to see, to the fierce strength which some people meet and overcome their fate to embrace their life, to the precious moments of love between husbands and wives in the twilight of their lives. Dr. Shields treated the elderly, young, rich, poor, and celebrities like Ronnie Milsap and Sir Rex Harrison. These stories, for lack of a better world, are divinely human: humorous, tearful, inspiring, and wondrous.

Dr. Shields does not limit his memoirs to the lens of glaucoma; his faith in a mighty, healing God is threaded through his stories like sunlight, illuminating his perspective on each person. I felt chills when he wrote about visiting Tiananmen Square a mere week before the terrible incident there, and the unexpected spiritual conversations with everyday people in Lithuania and China. Whether you are a fellow Christian like me or really anyone, you will marvel at Dr. Shields’ ability to connect these personal stories to your own life and a higher purpose.

Dr. Shields may be a newcomer to nonscientific writing, as he openly admits, but he introduces each chapter with a vivid visual of the person and neatly ties up each chapter with a beautiful insight regarding their life. His writing is likely similar to how his operations were when he practiced: carefully analytical, deeply compassionate, skillful and methodical,  and purposeful. I happened to visit my eye doctor within a week after reading this book, and he knew of Dr. Shields as a pioneer in the field of glaucoma. Reading his observations from years of practice is an opportunity not to be missed.

For me, I wept many times, sometimes from sheer joy and other times from empathy. I am so glad I decided to read Dr. Shields’ book, because it’s given me an insight from his years of observing and helping people which I never might have experienced otherwise. I urge you to experience his book for yourself and see the world around you with renewed vision and love for others.

I strongly recommend this beautiful, special book to anyone. No doubt these stories would give hope and encouragement to those dealing with vision complications, such as glaucoma, or anyone practicing eye care, but you can also simply appreciate it and marvel at the gift of sight regardless. It made for excellent reading in multiple sittings, because you can read one story at a time, and then mull it over and reflect. This is the kind of story that will stay with you for years to come.

I received this book from BookLookBloggers for free in exchange for this review. 


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