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Your Dying Words...Today!

I recently sat with a dying man to encourage and pray for him

during his last hours on this earth. I’ll call him “Bill.” As he drifted in and out of consciousness, Bill would grab and squeeze my hand. At times he’d open his mouth and try to speak.

We swabbed his mouth and lips with a wet sponge to help, but he couldn’t get the words out. He was experiencing some pain so I asked the nurse to give him another dose of morphine. He went to sleep and, while he came to and attempted to speak several more times, he died without being able to share with us what was on his mind.

We soberly reflected and speculated about what he might of been trying to tell us. This side of heaven, we will never know.


In my experience, people often hold off and avoid saying what they know they SHOULD say until they find, "just the right moment." And, while I agree there are some settings where it is right to wait, more often, this delay is an excuse. It's a reason to put off saying what needs to be said.

These important words might be positive like, "I love you." Or, they might be negative or corrective such as telling someone you've been hurt by their actions. Still, even those negative statements can be presented with hope--hope for reconciliation, etc. Thus, that reconciliation will not take place until even those difficult words are spoken.

So...don't wait. Don't put it off. As a hospice chaplain, I often ask patients whether or not there's someone with whom they need to "make things right"before they pass away. These folks have an advantage in that they know they're dying and have limited time on earth. They can reconnect and make amends as part of their preparation.

You and I may not have that luxury. We may not know when we're going to die. So...we need to be intentional and take the initiative to speak those "dying words" now.

Why not today? Why not pick up the phone and call that person you KNOW you need to speak with. Tell them what you KNOW God is putting on your heart.

I think you'll be glad you did...whether you live for a day or a few thousand days longer....

To that end,

Pastor Joel

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