It’s not often that after reading a book, I buy eight more copies. But such was the case after reading Russ Ramsey’s book Struck: One Christian’s Reflections on Encountering Death. It’s a great book about a terrible experience. Ramsey got an infection in his bloodstream, which traveled to his heart, and proceeded to wreak havoc.
First, he got really sick.
Then, he got worse.
Then, he had a major heart surgery.
After all this came the two-year recovery process.
He opens the book with these words,
When my doctor told me I was dying, I came alive.
Three days before my fortieth birthday I was admitted to the emergency room. A bacterial infection had destroyed my mitral valve and I was in the early stages of heart failure.
That day and the two years that followed are the setting of this book. They are the setting, but they are not the subject. This is a book about what happens when affliction and faith collide. (p. 17)
It might sound like a strange statement, but hear me out: not everyone who authors a book is also a writer. There are some authors who not only get published but also love the craft and excel at it. Ramsey is one of those types, and it made the book both enjoyable to read and all the more raw. It’s not surprising to me that Struck is currently a finalist in the 2018 Evangelical Christian Publishing Book Awards in the category of biography and memoir.
In an interview last year, Ramsey said,
I think there are two kinds of books on suffering and affliction. There are books that you give to people who are interested in the subject, but not necessarily afflicted or suffering in the moment. And then there are books for people who are in the middle of suffering. They are not the same voice. I wanted to write something that you’d be able to hand to someone who is suffering. (HomeRow: Episode 15, 4/6/17, around the 50-min mark)
And he sure did. That’s why I bought eight copies—eight life-preserving, faith-preserving copies to give to friends I know who are struggling to keep afloat in the deep end of adversity. If you are currently suffering, or if you know people who are, pick up a copy.