Joanne and Sam were a lovely part of our church family. Very active, happy, down to earth - the ones you hoped would be at your table at a church dinner.
Sam and Joanne had a long and happy marriage. They lived a full life: working, raising their children, enjoying many friends and being active in their church community.
Unfortunately, later in life Sam developed Alzheimer's. It was long before treatments were available and Joanne took care of him at home. It was a loving yet heart breaking experience. A highlight of their week was going to church each Sunday. They saw friends and enjoyed a meaningful worship service. But little by little Sam progressively slipped away.
After Sam died, I went over to Joanne's house to help create a memorial video for Sam's Celebration of Life service. Joanne thank me for doing the church screens. I smiled and said I was so glad she enjoyed them. I thanked her for letting me know. Joanne looked at me, and after a moment, said, "No, thank you - each Sunday you gave me my husband back."
This took my breath away. How could this be? I could see how withdrawn Sam had become but how had the church screens given Sam back to Joanne?
Joanne shared that Sam had progressively become unresponsive at home. He was there physically but his wonderful personality had simply disappeared. She missed her Sam so much.
Surprisingly, one Sunday, Sam was suddenly standing right beside her! The music for the hymn had begun and the lyrics appeared on the church screens. Sam looked up at the screens and quickly scrambled to his feet. Next he sang the hymn whole heartedly at the top of his lungs! Joanne simply stood watching Sam and cherished the moment. For the length of the hymn, Sam was again full of life standing beside her. It was a priceless gift that unfolded each week until Sam could no longer attend church.
This is a true story (I changed their names to protect their privacy). I am glad I had the opportunity to have Sam and Joanne in my life. And I am grateful to a loving God who uses the most unexpected ways to spread love and hope.
God bless, Lisa
P.S. This is the first of four heartwarming stories I will be sharing this Autumn. Do you have a heartwarming story from your church's tech booth? I would love to hear it (whether you choose to share it with the wider group or not). Please email me at email@example.com