My father passed away on Father’s Day 2015. He was a gentle man whose brilliant mind was ravaged by Alzheimer’s Disease. At the end of his life, when he would barely say more than a few words at a time, it was clear to me that his spirit, that part of a human being that connects us to God and is made alive when we are born again, was left untouched by this horrible illness.
Why do I say so? Because of his prayers. Whenever he started to pray, coherent sentences flowed from his mouth, expressing in his own words praises and requests in a way that defied his dementia. Sure, he would repeat himself several times, as if his mind couldn’t quite catch up to his spirit, but it was a beautiful thing to listen to, and I’m sure that God couldn’t help but smile down at him.
Another evidence for me of the indestructible spirit that is within us was dad’s singing. I was amazed as I listened to him belt out hymn after hymn, sometimes even by heart, and often singing harmony. The enthusiasm that he showed was in stark contrast to the rest of his day, when he was mostly quiet.
We are more than just physical beings. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God “has set eternity in the human heart.” One way or another our bodies eventually fail, but our connection to God through Christ is unshaken. Thanks to my father I was able to see a few glimpses of this important truth.
Picture: Carol Schlorff