Famous Last Words


Words spoken. Words written. Words sang. Words can bring a person down or build a person up. Words unsaid. Lost opportunities. Words once said cannot be unsaid. Sometimes words are exchanged in a way that can change or influence decisions a person may make. Words record stories and facts to help us obtain knowledge and understanding, or just simply for entertainment.

Imagine a world without words. This is what it must be like for a person who cannot hear, speak, read or write. Although they often amazingly find other ways to communicate what they would like to say.

Words combined with music to communicate feelings or a message. Words combined with tone and volume influence how the words are heard and interpreted. Words mixed with love. Words spoken gently or with authority.

Imagine knowing that you are coming to the end of your life and you will have no more opportunities to say the words you want to say. To know that time is running out.

In the Bible there is a man named Paul who was an apostle. He was awaiting execution because of his faith and while he was waiting, he wrote a letter to Timothy (who he referred to as his Son) and Titus. The letter can be found in the Bible in the New Testament in a book called 2 Timothy. The words in his letter were warm and encouraging. Paul knew that he was going to die, and that time was running out. Instead of feeling sorry for himself he chose to write words of instruction on how Timothy and Titus could continue the work he had already started of declaring the gospel of Jesus. Timothy and Titus must have been so thankful to Paul for the letter, and I would imagine they referred to it often as a source of direction and encouragement to keep the faith and be strong and courageous.

When my late husband was in the last few months of his life courageously fighting cancer, he wrote me a letter. The words were full of thankfulness for our relationship and the journey we had walked together. The words affirmed who I was in my husband’s eyes and encouraged me to continue to be strong and courageous in my faith, and to never give up.

Also, when my Dad was in his last few weeks of his life also courageously fighting cancer, he shared some very special words of encouragement with my sister and me. My Dad found his faith in Jesus a few weeks before he passed away and the words that he spoke in those few weeks were extraordinary. They were so profound that they became the foundation on which we conducted his funeral. Those words are still a source of encouragement, hope and reassurance as we seek to navigate the path of life. Our Dad said things like “All is not lost” and “Seek ye the vision”.

So, as we can see words can be so influential, and used in the right way words can change the way a person feels, which can then influence the decisions and direction a person may choose to walk. With that in mind here is a quote to end on which will hopefully help us all to remember how influential our words can be.

“You can change your world by changing your words…..Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue”

Joel Osteen

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