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Tag: dementia

Cheryl Davis
The Simple, Profound Truth July 15, 2015
2015.07.16 02:19:51

I looked up from the keyboard into the face of heavenly joy. The last time I’d seen this kind of joy, it had been on the face of a young and trusting child. But this time I was looking into the face of an elderly woman with dementia. She was smiling broadly. Her eyes were sparkling. It seemed that light was emanating from her face; in fact, she appeared to have a halo. I couldn’t look away from her. She was gazing directly at me, so I returned her smile, and we shared the beautiful moment. I’m not sure, but I think she gave me a glimpse into heaven and the joy we will experience there.


My fingers continued to float over the keys, playing the familiar song. She continued to sing joyfully, and although others were singing, too, this was her song, her moment of immersion in the love of Christ.


This woman and I had run into each other repeatedly during the first days of my summer chaplaincy internship at a long term care facility. I learned her name, and she started to recognize me. We saw each other so often that we laughed whenever it happened—just because it had happened again. And then it stopped happening. I didn’t know it then, but she had been moved from the general population into a specialized home for those with dementia. Of course, I was thrilled to see her again today, and she seemed to recognize me.


The song came to an end, but her glow continued.   “You really love that song, don’t you?” I said to her. She nodded her head vigorously, still smiling, still bathed in warmth and joy. I could tell that the song was the touchstone for her faith. It took her back to a time when she was a young and trusting child who received the love of Jesus with open hands. It had carried her through life, and now it was flowing from an old and trusting heart that had proven the song to be true. It tied her entire life together and pointed her to the magnificent future awaiting her.


The song? Oh, have I neglected to mention that? We were singing “Jesus Loves Me.”


Glad for the simple, profound truth,

Vicar Cheryl Davis



Tags: Jesus Loves Me | dementia | Cheryl Davis

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