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I received the following by email, evidently written by a nurse: “It was a busy morning, about 08:30, when a gentleman in his 80’s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 09:00. I took the vital readings and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone could see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment that morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me, no, he had to go to the nursing home to have breakfast with his wife. I inquired after her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him for the last five years. I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still go to her every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’ He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’ I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps and thought, ‘That is the kind of love I want in my life.’”

John the Baptist was busy baptizing people. After he had also baptized Jesus, God the Father Himself confirmed that Jesus is the Son of God: At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).  God delights in Jesus.

Later Jesus hung on the cross and died in our place so that we may have eternal life. On the cross something exceptional happened. Jesus called out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). God had “forsaken” this beloved Son of his, the One of whom He said: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”. God should actually have punished us by forsaking us, simply by forgetting about us, but He did not. Instead, Jesus bore this punishment Himself; He was “forsaken” by God so that we would not be forsaken by God. God will never forget his children. Furthermore, through Jesus, God also delights in ús: The LORD your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The LORD will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you (Zeph. 3:17)”.

There are so many people with Alzheimer’s disease.  They often don’t know anyone any longer, not their own children, not their spouses, not even God. It hurts when you realise that the one you love so much doesn’t know you any longer. The wonderful consolation that we have is that God never forgets us, nor these ill people. God says: “Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you (Is. 49:15). So God can also say: “They don’t know Me any longer, but I still know who they are.” What a wonderful love!


Our heavenly Father, thank you that we can hold onto the precious promise: You will never forget us. Amen.

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