BCL Grow: Grace in Dementia — Psalm 57:2
Psalm 57:2 (Redemption)
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. — Psalm 57:2
“Scripture teaches that all human beings are made in the image of God, which makes them distinct from the rest of God’s creation. Humans are loved by God to the extent that his Son died to allow those who believe in him to enjoy his presence forever. These two facts impart a dignity rooted not in who they are or in what they can accomplish but only in God himself. It is true of all persons, including those with the most severe dementia.” — John Dunlop, MD, Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia, p. 12.
Steps to Take
1. Reflect: Most of us will be faced with a friend or relative, a husband or wife, or others we know who are, or will be, facing the terrible agony of dementia. Consider how we might relate to and love those who have been stricken with this debilitating disease near the end of life.
2. Remember: Because all humans are made in the image of God, they have an inherent dignity to them, even in the face of lost memory or an inability to verbally relate to others. God also made humans with a body and mind that are inseparable, including when the mind is stricken with disease in this fallen world. And though we long for verbal communication, much can be lovingly said with the touch of a hand, a smile, and a warm embrace.
3. Respond: Even when communication with those suffering from dimentia is difficult, it is not impossible. It may be in a different form like a gentle touch, but it can communicate the love God calls us to give to each other. Help care for those who suffer by treating them with the dignity God has given them as human persons and by loving them even as God has loved us.
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