Words

Default thumbnail.

August 21, 2008 | No comments yet

Send to Kindle

By:  Staci Stallings

 

My best friend had ovarian cancer in high school.  She battled for two years from the time she was 16 to the time she was 18 before finally being declared cancer free.  Recently, we were watching TV together, and someone mentioned the word cancer.  Since she was heavily into planning for the Relay for Life, a cancer fundraiser, that word stuck in my head.

           

Several nights later, I was at church, and the pastor made an off-handed comment about suicide.  It wasn’t a direct thing, just something about how bleak our life would be without God.  At that moment a new understanding dawned on me about the power of words, and in particular, our words.

           

You see, my older brother died last year at the age of 42.  It wasn’t a car accident or cancer.  He died by his own hand.  Suicide. Ever since then, I’ve heard the word “suicide” very differently than I ever had before. 

           

Not that it was not a scary word to me before.  I’ve had several close friends go through times that brought them to the brink.  So suicide has in my life vocabulary for a long time but not the way it is now.

           

Now, when I hear that word or references to it, it jars me like no other word out there.  In one second I can have a flood of memories and feelings come back to me—that morning when I got the call, the house when I got there, the family, him lying in the coffin (that one I still have immense difficulty processing), and on and on.  All of these are accompanied by the what now’s?  With three children, what will he miss?  How are they doing?  How can I help in a situation that’s not fixable?

           

All of these and more in one heartbeat.

           

The trouble is, I never know when this word is going to pop up with all the stuff it brings with it.

           

Thinking about this later, that’s when I remembered my friend, and I started wondering if the word “cancer” does to her what the word “suicide” does to me.  When she hears it, do all those memories come flooding back?  Does she question why it was her and why then?  Does she wonder why she made it back into the land of the living and others have not?

           

 I suspect she does though I haven’t gotten the courage up to ask her yet.

           

Then I began thinking about other words and what they do to people.  Words like:  divorce and depression and overdose and alcohol or drugs.  Maybe you know what I’m talking about.  Maybe you know words that aren’t even on this list.  Words like:  miscarriage or unemployment.  Words like:  bankruptcy or accident.

           

What I want to say to all of those silently grieving or hurting over these words is, please know that you are not alone.  Don’t think that you are the only one who processes these words so very differently than everyone else.  You’re not.

           

But also please remember that there are others among you, others you might not even realize who are doing the same thing with the words you speak. It is impossible to know all the details or even the situations involved, but please be aware that your words have power.  And being sensitive to them is a step in the right direction for us all.

 

           

If you feel so led, I would like you to consider sharing your words with us.  What words stop you in your tracks with memories you thought were gone or healed?  Maybe if we talk about those words, we can all become more conscious of them and other words like healing and help and love can begin to take over.  The conversation has to start somewhere.

 

 

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Read More

Of Love and Backpacks

Default thumbnail.

August 14, 2008 | No comments yet

By:  Staci Stallings   The sermon was simple—at least it seemed to be.  The Gospel was the one about “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”  The priest began with a discourse on the word “yoke”—as in take My yoke for My burden is easy… …

Read More

Up In My Father’s Arms

Default thumbnail.

August 11, 2008 | No comments yet

By:  Staci Stallings   This morning at church I noticed a small little boy in front of us.  He was probably just older than two.  Petite in features and sippy cup in hand, his little form toddled back and forth between his parents.  His older brother had to keep backing up to let…

Read More

Selling Him Out for Thirty Pieces

Default thumbnail.

August 7, 2008 | No comments yet

By:  Staci Stallings   “And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.”  –Matthew 27:5   One thing I love about the apostles is how like us they all were.  There was Peter stepping out in faith until he remembered those waves.  There…

Read More

Just A Typical Teenage Boy

Default thumbnail.

August 4, 2008 | 1 Comment

By:  Staci Stallings Judge not, lest ye be judged. –Matthew 7:1 The call was controversial—just as all really close calls in baseball are. Full speed the runner slid home and thinking he had just scored a game-altering run, he stood up only to face the words, “You’re out!”   Now you know how…

Read More