The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Where God abides

On Thalia Ward, the Helper is with the helpless

My heart feels heavy as I punch in the code to allow myself entry into Thalia Ward, a lovely name for a place filled with heartache. As I am a daily visitor, the residents of the nursing home’s Alzheimer wing seem like familiar friends. There’s Richard. He paces the hall, trying to keep ahead of pursuing demons. Miss Stone carries her baby dolls close to her tiny bosom.

Miss Glenny, always humming and smiling, walks with turtle-like steps, her back severely deformed and curved. “Mad John,” always frowning, fights specters seen only by him. Miss Mattie had it all together, or so I thought, until she asked if I was voting for Truman. Ms. Gabby tells jokes, but only she understands the punch line.

And then, there is my mother.

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February issue


Embracing diversity