Friday, January 14, 2011

Visiting Rachel

Today I received such a blessing. I visited a saint of God, met a new sister in Christ and shared the Eucharist with a parishioner whom I'd only heard about from the other members of the church. As a minister, I often go to visit peoples who are suffering from dementia, mental illness, Alzheimer's, and the like. You really never know quite what you may face, what you will be able to do or say to them. Will the person know you, recognize why you've come, or even be conscious? Today was one of those visits.
The joy for me was that this person did not know me, but I sensed immediately that we know the same Lord. As we visited and talked, I could tell she could not remember much about her circumstances, or of those who had been so lovingly caring for her, or even where she was. She was pleasant, cheerful, and happy.
So I said, "Will it be okay if I sing you a song?" When she agreed, I sang for her the great Wesley hymn, "Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing." She, who couldn't recall even who she was, joined in, remembering and singing every word of that hymn. This frail, clearly failing 92 year old lady, sang like she was a mere girl in church on Easter morning. Her voice was strong, fierce, and confident.
Together we sang many other songs, and she knew and remembered the words to every one of them. Amazing too, was her recitation of the 23rd and the 24th Psalm. Every word of the Eucharist liturgy she recalled, and her voice as we sang the Lord's prayer together brought such joy into my soul that I wanted to shout. I didn't. (Shouting in a Hospice home disturbs the others living there.)
Today, this sister of mine and I had church; she and me and Jesus. We three, sang, prayed together, heard the Word, shared a meal, and I was blessed completely. God is good and loves us so much. I am grateful.

©2011 Judy H. Eurey

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