Last night, we had worship rehearsal. We take a break from it during the summer months, except for the week of our church’s birthday. We all enjoy rehearsal, and Birthday Sunday is a special Sunday for all of us, and so the rehearsal is always a particularly sweet one.
Last night, though, something happened that I will never forget. A dear, sweet lady, who recently turned 80, and suffers from dementia, came into the sanctuary as we were rehearsing “The Great I Am” (one of our favorites). She does it every week that we rehearse, so that was no surprise. But after a minute of sitting in the pew, she stands up with her hands waving in the air. She walked out into the aisle and walked up and down it, looking toward Heaven and throwing her hands up in pure, total, abandoned worship. It was absolutely beautiful.
In that moment, I envied her. Her condition has freed her from the restraints I put on myself because I’m too self-conscious and afraid of what people might think if I started walking up and down the aisle, waving my arms in praise to the One who deserves my total praise and worship. (And yes, I have wanted to do that, or something like that, at times.) I know it blessed the Lord immeasurably, but it also blessed everyone of us who watcher her. The Lord used her and her unreserved worship to glorify Himself in that moment. Could the same thing ever be said of me?
It also impressed me with the depth and the strength of her faith. I knew her a little before the dementia set in. She was a mighty woman of faith, who has raised 4 sons, all of whom are now in full-time ministry – some as pastors and city ministry leaders. One of the things that grieves me when I hear that someone has been diagnosed with some type of dementia or Alzheimer’s, is how it seems to rob them of their testimony and witness, as they stay confused, agitated, and angry. This woman’s faith, however, continues to shine through, and to glorify her Father. What a blessing for her and those of us who get to know her. Her whole life is a picture of worship, and gives glory to the One who has written all of her days in His book. I pray that the same can be said of me one day.