“My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Proverbs 63:8
A middle-aged woman wearing glasses rang up my purchase at a Barnes and Noble book store in Florida. While looking at the title, she ran her hand over its cover before slipping it into a plastic bag. The name of the book—Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias.
“Oh, so many people are affected by this—they lose everything,” the woman said.
“…everything…but their souls,” I responded.
Her eyes widened as she looked up. The woman nodded her head and pointed her finger at me. “You’re right—that’s true!”
There were times as my own mother slipped further down into the depths of dementia that I had to remind myself of this fact. When I felt the absence of the person she once was, it brought me some comfort whenever I thought about one particular summer day when I took her for a car ride. As we drove along the road in silence Mom, out of the blue, leaned against the car window and looked up toward the trees with their lush green leaves.
“The good Lord…the good Lord…” her voice trailed off.
“The good Lord what Mom?”
“He did all this…all this,” she said, as she made a sweeping motion with her arm.
Mom’s rare lucid moment brought me inexplicable joy; although, I knew it to be fleeting.
The person with dementia may seem like one who is in a desert—inhabiting a dry and weary land where there is no water. God however “will guide him to springs of living water”. (Rev. 17:7)—the water that continues to sustain the soul.
Believers who have been stricken with this disease have the Holy Spirit who dwells within them, despite the inability to praise God and to remember His promises. God who enfolds His dear ones in the shadow of his wings will never abandon his own.
Let us always remember the victory that is secured in Christ. Those who belong to Him are embraced by God as they leave this life and move on into the next.