You may agree that the three most powerful words are “I Love You.”
Can these three little words indeed be so powerful and significant?
After all, for many, these words fall from our mouths so casually and regularly that we miss their true meaning and worth. But what happens if, for some of us, we’ve never heard those words from our moms or dads; or the most important people in our lives?
Well, that was my story…
I lived through nearly four decades of silence from my father. I hated my father because of his silence and uninvolvement in my life as a boy. His career and extreme work ethic took him from me when I needed him.
When I heard that my dad was dying from esophageal cancer, I initially refused to visit him. My anger held me back for a little while until my siblings ganged up on me.
Four days before my father passed, I had the opportunity to stay overnight with him at the VA Hospital in Martinez, CA. (My father was wounded in action by a missile attack during the Korean War on September 19, 1951). He had served in the Army as a Private, 1st Class Medic.
After the lights went out in my dad’s hospital room, courage rose within my heart, and I spoke the three most important words that I could say to the most important man in my life:
Dad, …I love you!
It felt like an eternity of silence orbited the darkened hospital room…
…Then, from my dad’s weakened condition, I heard what my heart and soul had so longed to hear during the 39 silent years I had lived:
“I love you too, son.”
Suddenly, unspeakable joy filled my heart, and tears rolled down my face. I called out to my dad several more times that night, saying:
Dad, …I love you!
“I love you too, son.”
I heard my father say he loved me, which washed all the years of hurt, anger, and loneliness from my body, soul, and mind. My father’s words were a healing balm that would change my life from that day forward.
My father’s words also helped me to accept my Heavenly Father’s love for me.
“I am my beloved, and he is mine; his banner over me is love!” Songs of Songs
“See, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreaded day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest when I come, I strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6
Jesus came to me late on October 8, 1998, at night in that VA Hospital room in Martinez, California. He bound up my wounds and healed my broken heart. He freed this captive and released me from a prison of loneliness, despair, and anger. He lifted the curse from my life, and by becoming my father’s beloved son, I became God’s also!
“Come away with me, my love, my lovely one, come. For you, winter is over and gone. The snow has melted, and the flowers are in bloom; the cooing of the turtle doves can be heard throughout the land. Come away with me, my love, my lovely one, come. Your face is beautiful; your voice is sweet. Come away with me, my love, my lovely one, come.” Songs of Songs
My Dad became my hero and went away to be with the Lord of Life on October 12, 1998. I stood at his right side, holding his hand until he breathed his last breath. He looked up to the ceiling, smiled, and then was gone. We all wept so loudly as a family that our cries could be heard throughout the hospital wing.
A few moments later, I stretched my hand over my father’s face, and I closed my father’s eyes.
Yes, words do matter. Be brave, be courageous, and allow your heart to speak its words before it is too late. The “I love you, dad,” unlocked my father’s heart, which echoed those desperately needed words from him into my hungry and hurting heart and soul.
There is unspeakable power in the three simple words; “I love you” or “please forgive me.” While these words are simple, it takes great courage to say them. Please, don’t be stubborn and don’t be afraid, dare to speak and listen for the reply; “I love you too.”
Scripture says, “If you hear God’s voice today, don’t be stubborn. Don’t be stubborn like those who rebelled in the wilderness.” Hebrews 3:15
Don’t let silence kill your life, joy, or your future. Speak from your heart and live!
Watch this John Mayer Music Video and
“Say What You Need To Say”
…And let your heart speak.