“It May Well Be Just a Song”
● Juliana was a dear elderly Christian in the Philippines who had developed Alzheimer’s disease. She no longer recognized even her own children. Nevertheless, I would go to see Juliana whenever I was in the area.
Juliana was bedridden and would just stare out the window. It was hard to be with her, as she no longer remembered me. She looked at me with big eyes, but there was no life or spark of recognition in them. “Do you still think about Jehovah?” I asked. I told her an experience and asked some more questions, but there was no indication that she understood. Then I started to sing a song. What happened next was so heartwarming!
Juliana turned her head, looked at me, and started to sing with me! Soon, I had to give up because I did not know all the words in the local Tagalog language by heart. But Juliana kept singing. She remembered all three stanzas. Quickly, I asked the person with me if she would borrow a songbook from a Witness who lived nearby. She returned with it right away. I didn’t know the number of the song but happened to open up to the right page. This time we sang the whole song together! When I asked Juliana if she remembered any other songs, she started to sing an old Filipino love song.
“No, Juliana,” I said, “not a song from the radio but from the Kingdom Hall.” * Then I began to sing another song from our songbook, and she joined right in with me. Her eyes were shining. Gone was the blank stare, and her smile reached from ear to ear.
By this time neighbors had run out to see where the singing was coming from. They stood at the window watching and listening to us. It was wonderful to see how the music touched Juliana’s heart! It had caused her to remember the words of the song.
I learned from this experience that you never know what will penetrate the darkness and reach those who are for the most part unable to understand or communicate. It may well be just a song.
Not long after the above occurred, Juliana died. I was reminded of the experience when listening to the stirring new recorded music released by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2009. You may want to inquire of them locally as to how you might obtain these beautiful, moving recordings.
^ par. 5 The name of the meeting places of Jehovah’s Witnesses.