Important Words to Say

24 08 2011

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 NLT

I recently spent a day at a Hospice ministry. It was a place of dignity and love despite the fact that residents there were near the end of their life here on earth. It was peaceful, caring and made to look like home. I was struck by volunteers and staff who worked diligently to make sure that the residents were cared for and comfortable. The hospice nurse visited with us and shared that our family member was actively dying. She explained that anybody wishing to see her should come now and that there were 5 important things to say to someone who is passing:

  1. I love you
  2. I am sorry for whatever you need to apologize for
  3. I forgive you for whatever you need to forgive
  4. Thank you for what you are grateful for
  5. I’ll never forget the impact you have made on my life.

After the nurse had completed her visit, I pondered these 5 things. While they were specific instructions to share with people who were dying, I know they have value for our relationships in everyday life. What if we made it a practice to say these things as a way of living:

  1. Making sure that the ones that we love know it with our words and actions.
  2. Saying that we are sorry for the things as soon as we recognize the need to
  3. Forgiving others in our hearts and minds for hurts and misunderstandings
  4. Expressing our gratitude for the things that we are thankful big and small.
  5. Letting people know what they mean to us.

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