A few years ago, I had a scary experience. I was coming to the end of a very full week and was already exhausted, when my daughter called from Chile explaining how she and her family had ridden out an earthquake by huddling under the frame of their entrance door. Then I heard that one of my grandsons was having pains in his chest because of rheumatoid arthritis, and the doctors feared for his life. All those thoughts came flooding into my mind when I lay down for a nap that Saturday—and when I woke up, my memory was gone!

I was fortunate that three of my adult children were visiting at the time, and they took care of me. I was aware and coherent, so the hospital suggested waiting a day to see how it would go. I was terrified that I wouldn’t recover my memory, but I did remember about prayer and I prayed many times for healing. After dinner, my daughter suggested that I should rest and listen to my Christian inspirational audios.

One of the audios was called “The Unchanging Christ.” In it, Virginia Brandt Berg tells of a cross that was built by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama in Macau in the 16th century. It was very large and set on one of the walls of a stone cathedral. The cathedral was eventually destroyed by time and typhoons, but the wall with the big cross was still standing in 1825, when, some people say, the future English governor of Hong Kong, Sir John Bowring, passed through there. The view of the majestic cross standing through the ages inspired him to write a poem called “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” later turned into a hymn. The audio ended with another hymn called “Abide with Me” (1847)

I could envision that big cross shining by the shore. The true story and hymns restored the serenity I needed. I felt peaceful and joyful and soon fell asleep. When I awoke the next morning, my memory was back to normal!

The situations I’d been worrying about have since been resolved. My daughter’s family is fine, as is my grandson. I’ve learned not to overdo physically or allow worry to overpower me anymore. Most of all, I’ve learned to cling to the cross that glows with peace and joy at all times, especially the difficult ones!