God lights the way

Mental decline is surmountable

SOME YEARS AGO I attended a conference that focused on spirituality and healing. One of the speakers was a chaplain who worked with patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I was struck by how much he loved these people. In fact, he spent a good amount of his speaking time urging everyone to love them and to see them as being wonderful. As he spoke, I began to understand a little of what he meant.

He described a woman he had come to know while she was still in the early stages of Alzheimer's. She had told him that one night she'd been at home, trying to cook dinner by following a particular recipe. But she would no sooner go to get the next ingredient than she would forget what she needed, or even where she was in the recipe. Finally, she ran out of the house into the driveway and turned to God, begging Him for help.

At that moment, it began to snow, and she saw the falling crystals in a totally different light. The purity and individuality of each snowflake touched her heart, and she felt she could hear God saying to her, "Even there—in the middle of what you are going through—I will be with you." This thought gave her strength and sustained her.

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September 24, 2001

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