Your Words Will Outlast You

Good Saturday afternoon! It’s a chilly, cold, wet day here in Indiana, but you can see the promise of spring in the green shoots Flower at NMCstarting to appear in the flower beds, robins everywhere, and most of the snow has melted away.

More and more, I am being impressed with the power of words to build up or to tear down. Often, your words are a part of your legacy – you can either cause deep wounds that leave scars for a lifetime or you can speak words of grace that stay with others for their lifetime and even beyond in those that they touch.

I came across a poem today about Dietrich Bonhoeffer that speaks of the lasting impact of his words. I hope it impacts you as it did me.


This is the end – for me, the beginning of life. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (from his last recorded words)

Words to a prison friend, spoken in haste.
Gestapo men had come to transfer him,
Low Sunday, sixty-seven years ago
Today. The next morning, he’d be hanged with others.
No question who was strong and who was weak.
A room of prisoners praying, when the door
Burst open. Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He went
But only after saying his goodbyes,
Stealing a few more minutes as a man
Might steal his own possessions from a thief.
Words can survive the worst, which is love’s trick;
Can, on occasion, be the love they praise.
On this distant Easter night, the world still writhes
In its uneven pain. Wakeful, I hear
Bonhoeffer voicing love’s contingency,
Love’s need, the thousand ways love dies and dies
And may live on in something someone says.

 – Charles Hughes

What will be the legacy of your words spoken to others?


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