A year ago, I attended the funeral of a man from my church who had suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
The image burned into my mind from that day is of the sunlight breaking out of the clouds and spilling its glory over the graveside as the minister spoke about the resurrection. It was an incredible and beautiful moment. I didn’t know that man very well, but what I heard of him was of a man who’s earthly journey had been bathed in the light of Heaven.
For years I have wanted to read Shaking Hands with Mr. Parkinson by Gary Miller.
I didn’t know why I was drawn to it. It was inexplicable to me, but I was still drawn.
I don’t have Parkinson’s. I don’t know that I ever will have Parkinson’s. But this book touched my life in incredible ways.
Gary Miller’s story is one of surrender. Of heavenward focus. Of eternal hope.
“For when your earthly future crumbles, only eternity remains. And that is also a blessing.”
As I read, I was challenged to place my own life, health, and dreams anew into the hands of my Father. To commit my all more fully to Him.
- Title: Shaking Hands with Mr. Parkinson
- Author: Gary Miller
- Publisher: Christian Light
- Genre: Non-fic, personal journey
- Number of Pages: 120
- Theme: A Christian man’s journey with Parkinson’s Disease
- Age Range: Youth and Adult
- Source: Christian Light, Amazon
Gary Miller was only forty-seven when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He was still young. He still had his life before him. But God had other plans.
This is the stirring and challenging story of God’s plan, of Gary’s acceptance, and how Gary chose to glorify God through his earthly sufferings.
As you read this book, you will be challenged anew to dedicate your circumstances and your life for God’s glory, and to the encouragement of those God has given you to minister to.
“How much time do I have? How much time does any of us have? Let us be about our Father’s business. Work, for the night is coming.”
SAW Rating System
We have recently altered our reviewing system using the model of our poetry grading worksheet. For an explanation of the new system, see our introductory post.
Coverage of Topic—8/10
Quality of Writing—7/10
Impact of the book—9/10
Innocence regarding evil—7/10
Active promotion of good—8/10
Level of spiritual challenge—8/10
Healthy view of life—8/10
Items of Note
Romance and morality
Violence, torture, and murder are referenced as taking place during the disrupted early 1980’s in Guatemala.
Guatemalan terrorists took the life of one man and shot another. This scene is portrayed vividly, but not graphically. However, it is a very intense scene, and may be mildly disturbing to sensitive readers; unsuited for a younger age-range.
A brain surgery is explained in a detailed way, without referencing how things looked.
A man on a ventilator is described as being very distressed at his inability to communicate. A moving scene, but not gratuitous.
Mr. Parkinson is portrayed as grimly taking away the ability to perform many pleasant and needful things. However, the tone of the book is overall upbuilding.
Alcohol and drug use (includes tobacco)
A friend was previously paralyzed by crashing his car when drunk. This is portrayed as wrong, and we are given the impression that the friend has turned his life around.
This book is written from a conservative Mennonite perspective, but does not present a biased view.
Family roles and behavior
Mature subject matter
Shaking Hands with Mr. Parkinson—A Challenging Narrative
I invite you to step into the life of Gary Miller. Your perspective of those with debilitating health challenges will be changed as he takes you beneath the surface to explore the mind and soul so effectually hidden behind the outward mask of Parkinson’s Disease.
And your view of life and death will be impacted by his view of earth’s service and heaven’s eternal reward.
Looking for other inspiring examples of God’s faithfulness in the midst of physical struggle? See our review of Seventeen-Ounce Miracle:
- Eyes for My Heart—Book Review
- Beyond the Door—Book Review