Reviewed by Anne Boiling for Readers' Favorite
This tale begins with D J Cushing waking up in a psychiatric ward after voluntarily admitting himself the day before. He was not suicidal; he just wanted God to take him out. He felt alone, despondent and depressed. He had been ill for many years, but no one had recognized the signs. The doctor labeled his illness schizophrenia with paranoia.
Cushing enjoys analogies from the bible. He shares thoughts about Christmas, Elijah, Solomon, King Saul, and Jesus. Much of his musing is very profound, such as: “God does his best work in a cave. When we are the most isolated, separated from our friends and our normal sources of strength, this is where we are closest to God.” He explains that all medicine is created by God, but people turn to the medicine and leave God out of the loop.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness. It is unfortunate that most people do not understand and shy away from the mentally ill. D J Cushing refers to his illness as a gift from God. Most will find the title confusing and distasteful. However, as I read this book I began to understand what Cushing was attempting to express. Having schizophrenia has given him the opportunity to see things in a different manner. I do not believe that God “causes” us to be ill, however, I do believe that God can use to His good anything and everything, including illnesses.
I have a friend who has schizophrenia. He is brilliant and can discuss and quote scripture with the most educated. As long as he takes his medicines, he functions in society; but as soon as he goes off of them, his friends know. He becomes unkempt, disoriented, paranoid and violent. There are a few of us whom he trusts. We can explain to him that he must take his meds. Sometimes he’ll listen to us.
The Gift of Schizophrenia, A Testimony was written by D J Cushing to give him an outlet for all that he went through. At times the author seems to ramble and the text does not flow smoothly. Yet there is a deep message within this book that we all need to hear. We must learn to treat those with mental illness with respect. Much of his scriptural insight is priceless. I suggest you read through this book and grab the bits of wisdom.