Monday, 7 August 2017


Parting from someone I see quite regularly, but who is a 'stage 4' cancer sufferer, I felt today, as i often do, at a loss to choose the right words.

This is a very stoical and inspirational person, not she would say, brave or heroic, (I would disagree), but simply resigned and accepting of what will eventually happen.

While never listing a catalogue of her woes, she is quite open and honest about her current status and answers even the most probing questions without flinching,

Anyone who didn't know what was wrong with her would get no clues from her conversation or her manner, yet everyday tasks must sometimes seem like climbing Everest to her.

I pray for her daily, and know that a number of others do the same, but when it comes to saying goodbye, every time I find myself wanting to say something uplifting rather than the usual, "take care, see you next week".

Sometimes i am able to say 'bless you', but always feel slightly awkward doing so.

Two images always come to mind when wishing her well, one is the beautiful one of being sheltered under God's wing, the other - from the old Irish blessing - that of being held in the palm of God's hand.

For me, nothing could be more comforting yet I am not able to quote either of them.

Why I wonder is it so easy to write words but so difficult to utter them?


  1. I'm relieved to hear that Ray, I find it difficult sometimes!!
    Since I am the parish minister some people take for granted I always have the right thing to say, but that is not always true. And I do believe that if words really are neccessary they will come to you. I don't want to just be blabbing on. A simple God bless you will often get me one back, even from people that never use that phrase and to their surprise find themselves using it! Don't worry, your prayers reach a lot further even if you can't find words to speak out!!

  2. Maybe it is because I fancy myself something of a 'word-smith' that i feel it is necessary to say something meaningful
    You are probably right Solveig, simple is often best.

  3. I have always wondered the same. Finding what we think would be the right words is difficult, but I remind myself that words are not always necessary and that a hug speaks volumes.

  4. Not one of nature's huggers, I find that even more difficult than the right words. But, having said that, I have had an occasional hug myself when it was most needed and greatly valued it.

    1. Aha! Well, it's okey to be a quiet non-hugger, you make a great philosopher and a solemn and warm witness for the Lord!!

  5. I have started to roam through your early entries, Ray.
    I know more and more why I appreciate you so much. Pity there are so many miles to cover....both for me and for your family and Johns. I am glad you're sharing so earnestly and straight forward and glad that you found your way both to be christened and confirmed. I will read a little on you old posts, every now and then, it's well worth it you know!! God bless you!!!!

  6. Thanks Solveig. I'm sure there are better ways you could spend your free time but they are there to be read if you wish.

  7. Having been a Parish Minister, too, I realise how hard it can be to find the right words. Your friend will surely appreciate you being there and being physically present every week. Cyberhugs to you from Dalamory.

  8. I hope so Freda.
    Blessings to you likewise.