Today's daily devotion

Using Life’s Experiences

. . . our God is full of compassion.—PSALM 116:5 [NIV]

“Get out, I don’t know you!” shouted Mr. Sims, a resident at a memory care facility where I worked as a therapeutic
musician. I’d been working with Mr. Sims for several years now, and knew his memory could vanish suddenly, and return just as quickly.

“Leave,” he said, his voice growing hard. I respectfully left the room. The truth was I understood, in part, why he felt so much anger and fear.

I had completely lost my memory from a car accident when I was 15. I was knocked unconscious when my head hit and shattered the front windshield. When I woke, I didn’t know my name, where I was, who my parents were, or anything about myself. My memory slowly came back to me, in pieces over days and weeks and months, but it would never quite be the same again.

Now, when I work with Mr. Sims and others living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, I remember the anger and fear I felt from not having any memories to stand on to tell me who I was. I remember how difficult and disorienting it was, and I feel great compassion and heartfelt concern for those experiencing these illnesses.

I waited for a bit outside Mr. Sims’s door, taking a moment to pray, then re-entered his room.

“Good morning,” I said, smiling. “Would you like to hear some music today?”

“I’ve been waiting for you,” he replied brightly.

God, thank you for the opportunity to use my own life experiences to bring compassion to those I care for.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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