THEY SAID IT
(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)
“HE LOVES ME.”
Gerta had been blind and in a nursing home for a number of years. Her cancer had progressed rapidly and dementia had robbed her of all but about five words.
Gerta seemed to respond most to singing. On one visit, I began singing “Jesus Loves Me.” She turned toward me and listened intently. When I finished, she suddenly sat up in bed, smiled, and excitedly said, “He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!”
I sat there in shock. I’d never heard her put more than two words together before. She continued staring right into my eyes, as if she was looking into my soul, that huge smile lingering on her face. “Yes, He sure does, Gerta. He sure does,” I said.
I don’t know about you, but I sure need to be loved. I need people who will accept me as I am, with all of my faults and weirdness. I need people who I know are seeking my ultimate best.
If I want that, however, I better be ready to give it. I need to love as much as I need to be loved. I want to be the kind of person that meets people where they are rather than requiring them to be where I am. I want to be one who seeks the other party’s ultimate good.
And in order to have any hope of doing that, I must remember, “He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!”
Thank you, Gerta.
Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice and is interim Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington