Psalm 119:17-20 (NRSV)
Deal bountifully with your servant, so that I may live and observe your word. Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I live as an alien in the land; do not hide your commandments from me. My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times.
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.
- Psalm 119:93 (NRSV)
LAST year I attended a memorial service for a former pastor of our congregation who had died after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. During the later stages of the disease, Dick often did not recognize his friends and family members and could not converse with them. One of the speakers at the service mentioned that even after Dick became unable to carry on a conversation, he was still able to recite portions of the liturgies he so often conducted as a pastor.
As I listened to that story, I thought about my Aunt Helen, who was in the final stages of Alzheimer's Disease. She was a woman of great faith, and she loved the scripture. I visited her regularly, but communication was difficult and she rarely spoke. I decided to take my Bible along the next time I visited her.
During the rest of our visits, I felt a spiritual connection with her as we shared familiar words of scripture. Her eyes told me that she had not forgotten those words, despite the ravages of her disease. The Bible became a vehicle of communication that was meaningful for both of us.
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for your gift of the Bible. Please help us to remember the comfort its words can bring to others. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Scripture can communicate even when we cannot.
PRAYER FOCUS: Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones
By Lynne M. Deming, Tennessee