Jump directly to the Content

Beneath the Surface

"Let's make a bow. Here, I'll put my finger right there to hold the ribbon, and you tie the bow."

"Okay," she answered cautiously.

Slowly she reached for the slant-cut ends of red ribbon. Holding one between her right thumb and forefinger, the other end between her left thumb and forefinger, she stopped.

She appeared unsure of the next step. Latent muscle memory suggested to her that some time ago she could tie ribbons into bows. But she could not remember ever, actually, tying a bow. She looked at a finished product. She could not reverse-engineer the process of tying a bow (most of us could not do this either).

She watched a happy patient succeed. Her short term memory deteriorated, she could not watch a step and reproduce it.

"We're not in a hurry," I said to her.

"Thank you," she said.

Continuing to grasp the ends of the ribbon, she slowly waved her hands circularly over the spot where my finger held the ribbon in place. Perhaps she hoped the movement might trigger a recollection. It did ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Defending Depravity
Defending Depravity
Has the American church gone soft on sin?
From the Magazine
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Locals are increasingly running African mission hospitals. The next challenge: keeping foreign donors.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close