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5 Books That Provide Comfort Amid Terminal Illness

Chosen by Kathryn Butler, trauma surgeon and author of "Between Life and Death: A Gospel-Centered Guide to End-of-Life Medical Care."
5 Books That Provide Comfort Amid Terminal Illness
Image: Ho Pak / Unsplash

Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow

Nancy Guthrie

In Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow, Guthrie combines her empathy and wisdom to reveal how Jesus’ words offer us hope in our darkest moments, even as we face our own death. With clarity that only firsthand experience can inspire, she at once confronts the reality of sorrow—its rawness and depth—and embraces its resolution: namely, the hope we share in God’s love for us through Christ.

A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament

Michael Card

Too often, we respond to news of terminal illness with platitudes, denial, or blind encouragement. Yet our need to grieve in suffering—to lament—has deep roots in Scripture. In this poignant book, Christian songwriter and teacher Michael Card analyzes the prayers of David, Job, Jeremiah, and Jesus, revealing the scriptural premise for engaging openly with God in our suffering and, in so doing, drawing nearer to the Lord.

Finishing Well to the Glory of God: Strategies from a Christian Physician

John Dunlop, MD

Dunlop, a doctor with decades of experience in geriatric medicine, offers a beautiful, tenderly written guide to resting in the arms of Christ at the end of life. He weaves medical advice into a narrative that combines elements of a memoir and a devotion. Reading this book feels like sitting beside a trusted friend, meandering through conversations that matter.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande, MD

Although he does not write from a Christian perspective, Gawande’s best-selling book offers invaluable insight on aging, nursing home care, hospice, and care goals. He provides key advice to help us interpret the intricacies of a foreboding medical ...

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