This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.—John 15:12 (ESV)
With a Song in My Heart
My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.—Psalm 108:1 (NIV)
I had been caring for my Aunt Ruth, who had dementia, for about four years. Her condition had progressed to the point that she barely spoke, and when she did, it made no sense. It broke my heart to see her this way. Aunt Ruth had been a strong, independent woman with the “gift of gab.” She always had a hilarious story to tell, and even a dull story was made funny by the way she told it. Now she sat hunched and silent in her wheelchair.
One afternoon, I convinced Aunt Ruth to let me take her downstairs at her facility where a singer was performing for the residents. He did a great mix of songs from the 1940s through the 1970s. After a few minutes, Aunt Ruth started singing along. During a lull between songs, she turned to me, eyes bright, and said, “I loved that song. He’s terrific, you should get up and sing with him.”
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. Her head was up and she spoke in clear, complete sentences. At that moment and for the rest of the performance, I had some of the old Aunt Ruth back. I have been a musician my whole life, but I am always amazed at music’s power.
God, creator of all, thank you for the gift of music. Let us use music and all your gifts to lift our spirits and praise your name.
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