They have fastened your Word firmly to their hearts…And the very words You gave me to speak I have passed on to them. They have received your words and carry them in their hearts. John 17:6b - 7
My dad always wanted his words to count. He didn’t say a lot but he said things really clearly. Somehow, just when you needed to hear some wisdom, he was sitting at the dining room table…just sitting there, maybe sipping on a beer. I’d come with one of my questions about life or about something I was trying to figure out. He would take the little container that held toothpicks and the little dish that had pennies in it and start to teach using them as props. “It’s like this,” he would say.
Dad got voice box cancer around the time I was 19 and by the time I turned 20, he had to have his voice box removed. It was so traumatic for him, for mom and for our whole family. By the time I was 22 he was gone.
I remember when he learned to talk again on a burp. He practiced and practiced this one line and called me from Ottawa. He said, “Be a good girl.” He got me to etch a prayer he wrote with my wood burning pen onto a piece of wood. As he went to give hope to others facing the loss of their voices, he would share this prayer with them. I have some notes he wrote me – one in particular is precious to me. He wrote it the day I left Ottawa to move down to Kitchener. I cringe even now when I think how I must have broken his heart. He wrote something about Kitchener not just being downtown, it was far away and I needed to make sure I knew what I was doing. And then his famous line, “Don’t take any shit.” I cry until I get to this line and then I laugh. Dad’s words. So key to my life. They still run through my mind and sometimes, especially now, I wish he could be at the dining table telling me how it is. The words he gave me are definitely carried in my heart and continue to impact my life.
We’ve been given our Father in heaven’s words about life, truth, love. Living words that set us free from the many lies we tend to believe. Words that are like anchors in the storm, a place to lay down on in our weariness, and a joy that lifts our heads up in fresh hope. We take them and fasten them to our hearts but there are times (naturally) that we forget what a treasure it is to have them.
Today, I am going sit at the dining room table, gather myself some pennies and toothpicks and listen for God to remind me of His words. I’ll ask the Holy Spirit to bring to my mind just the ones I need and I will pray for you to be given the ones you need to remember.
Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63)
“The Word is God. The Scriptures are not God, but the Spirit who breathes through the words is God.” –Francis Frangipane
If you just need a little help to find what words you need and what to do with them, I offer this simple collection.
You are the accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)
You are my beloved and I am yours. (Song of Songs 6:3)
Nothing can separate you from my love. (Romans 8:31-39)
You are made in my image. (Genesis 1:27)
I take great delight in you. I sing over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Photo by Siora Photography - Unsplashed