Sunday, February 25, 2018

Glimpses of Grace

The Miracle of God's Grace

In Glimpses of Grace

By Dorothy Horne
Nov. 4, 2016 at 3:39 p.m.
Updated Nov. 4, 2016 at 3:39 p.m.

 “The two foundations;
One inward, the other outward;
Grace, miracles;
Both supernatural.”

— Blaise Pascal

It was a fluke – an astounding, serendipitous discovery I made two weeks ago at the gym. Byron and I had just finished walking around the indoor track. On a whim, I said, “Why don’t we go to the basketball court?” Only two other people were there, so we went in. I picked up a ball and bounced it to Byron. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he caught it and started dribbling, then shot. It bounced off the rim. He dribbled some more, shot again – same thing. 

It bounced off the rim seven more times. The eighth time, it went in.

He didn’t stop shooting for almost an hour (except for the times I broke in). He rarely missed making a goal. For me, this was jaw-dropping. I never would have guessed he could be this good right now. 

But, that’s not all! The very next day we went to Walmart and bought a basketball, football, soccer ball, Frisbee and a giant hula hoop. I couldn’t wait to see what else he could do. I was beginning to suspect I might be married to Clark Kent. We got home and went out to the backyard to test out our new equipment. Byron can not only throw and catch the football, he can spiral it! I had hand surgery in July, and it healed just in the nick of time for me to be able to shoot and throw with him – another blessing, and so much fun for us.

The soccer ball and Frisbee are too easy, and, he can jump the hula hoop like a jump rope. (We actually tried it out in the store.) All these newly-emerged talents – I feel like shouting from the rooftop.

What makes all this so exciting to me, of course, is the fact that Byron is six years into Alzheimer’s and fairly advanced. People don’t only lose their memories from the disease; they also lose things like depth perception, balance, coordination, strength, endurance and eventually – everything.

We got together with our family at a great downtown park in Dallas the next weekend. It was a joyful, carefree time for all of us. Watching Byron play and interact with his grandsons was the biggest blessing of all. It has been a long time since he could engage with them to the extent he did. He enjoyed himself immensely. It was one of the best times our family has ever had.

Byron’s neurologist said he had never seen anything like this happen with his patients before, and allowed that it could be a miracle.

I suddenly remembered a prayer I prayed last summer.

It was a plea for healing – but just a little bit. I was afraid to ask for too much, because then maybe nothing at all would happen. People with Alzheimer’s don’t get better, only worse. It took a leap of faith (of which I had little at the moment) for me to ask for anything at all.

“God, if it be your will, could you perform a miracle and help Byron get at least a little better? I need more time with him. Our grandsons need more time with their G-Daddy. Please, God.” And I cried, because in my heart I still believed it was too late for any kind of miracle, even a small one (…or did I? Because after I prayed, there seemed to be a “did-I-see-it-or-not” flicker of hope that wasn’t there before).

God answered my prayer, despite my lack of faith, through a basketball.

Grace is always a miracle and resides in the ordinary, as well as the extraordinary.

A load has been lifted from our family. God blessed us with this unexpected light in the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease. We are grateful for this time, however long it lasts. It is an gift we didn’t expect, and an opportunity we cherish.

 “Many, Lord my God, 
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.”

Psalm 40:5 (NIV).

Dorothy Horne is the author of "Glimpses of Grace: Walking in Hope through Alzheimer's and Ordinary Days," available on Find her website at



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