John Piper’s book “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” has touched many in my world.
A dear friend who is in the last stages of cancer commented today that she has been focusing on saying words of love. Not a demonstrative person, this effort does not come as naturally or as quickly she explained as words of disagreement or anger rise up in all of us. Consequently it takes choice, focus and planning to speak from the heart with such purpose.
My little sister prayed and focused on what she would say when she reunited with our mother this spring after 32 years. Her speech was gentle, loving and healing. It was speaking with purpose. My grandson planned for weeks what he would say, and how and where he would say it, when he planned his marriage proposal to Kaylyn. That too, was speaking with purpose.
Surely we do speak through our actions, and there are many different ways to show affection and appreciation. Yet I believe every man, woman and child needs to sometime hear the words – not necessarily like a constant beating drum, for that too would become less meaningful, but combined with love’s action.
My dear friend is living with purpose and right now focusing on speaking with purpose. This is one of those things she calls a ‘gift’ from Cancer. She doesn’t want to waste those gifts, but purposes to use them – fulfill them.
I’m thinking many things in life are like cancer, eating away at us – our body, emotion, mind, and soul – trying to take over and rule our destiny. It can’t – unless we allow it. Instead we can purpose to speak only that which is healing, encouraging, uplifting. And I’ve read how the early Christians had to be careful to whom they spoke, and would begin their greeting or conversation with half the fish sign shown above, often drawn in the sand with their foot, then waiting the response or acknowledgment. They were purposing that their words be identified with Christ. Thanks to my dear friend and her ‘gift’ of insight, this too has been my renewed goal:
1Peter 4:11 tells us that “Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God”
and goes on to share the purpose “so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ”