Singing With Virginia


O Sing unto to the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Psalm 96:1 KJV

I have been praying for God to open doors at the long-term care facilities I visit, but I wasn’t prepared to see them swing open quite so wide. Today seemed like just any another Thursday morning at the West Wing which is the memory care portion of one facility I visit. I got there at my usual time and found about a dozen folks seated in the TV area by the nurse’s station. They seemed happy to see me as we started singing “Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man who stilled the waters!” As the chorus rang out I noticed behind them a lady named Virginia who was pacing aimlessly back and forth hunched over her walker. I paid little attention to her until she suddenly turned towards us and shuffled in our direction. Being concerned that she might fall, one of the nurses jumped up and gently redirected her back to the hall. But just a minute later Virginia was back and this time walked right up to me and stood quietly for a moment, then reached out her finger and touched the strings of my guitar.

Curious to see what she would do; I assured the nurse that it was fine and I watched to see what she would do next.  I had not been able to see Virginia’s face because she was so completely bent over her walker but on the next hymn she looked up at me and began to sing. Her face lit up with a smile as she stood next to me and our voices joined together, “Jesus – Jesus – Jesus – Sweetest name I know. Hears the every longing of my heart – Keeps me singing as I go!” Oh yes doors began opening today but the doors that swung open wide were not the ones I expected, they were ones to my heart and hers. God sent Virginia to remind me that everyone in all the earth needs to sing for you!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Sally says:

    Very tender post. Thanks for sharing.

    He ( or she) who sings once, prays twice. – St. Augustine

    1. pastorpete51 says:

      Thank you Sally. I have not heard that one before but it is so true!

  2. DeniseBalog says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Beautiful reminder, Jesus has not once forgotten the shut-in and elderly.🙏♥️

    1. pastorpete51 says:

      Amen that’s what keeps me going!

  3. This is beautiful! There is so much more in the minds of these dear people than we can imagine. That was the song my nonresponsive mother with Alzheimer’s started softly singing just a few days before she passed away. God kept her singing as she went to heaven. Thank you for caring for these precious ones, Pete.

    1. pastorpete51 says:

      Thanks Patty. I have been so privileged to be singing with them so long and learning from them unspoken lessons. One nurse said it was as if God simply was turning back the clock in their memories to be like children. I know it is more complicated than that but it brings me comfort. Thanks for your own memory of your mom, singing as she went to Jesus.

  4. Beth Alisan says:

    Thank you Pastor Pete for sharing this precious moment in song with Virginia. It brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart. We recently learned that a dear friend and retired army chaplain has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When my girl’s, who are quite shy, met him years back they immediately took to this grandfatherly man. When I asked them why, my oldest replied, “We could see Jesus in him.” I pray for him each morning as I walk Adi, asking the Lord that as the disease steals his memory His joy and peace will continue to flow through him and be evident to all who care for him. Virginia’s story is evidence of how the love of the Lord continues to flow through those who know Him.

    1. pastorpete51 says:

      Yes this disease turns back the memory clocks but what is in the heart remains. I am so privileged to have these special moments every now and then to see the inner beauty God has placed there.

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