Morrie's experience raises a good question: Why wait to share the healing purity of our hearts with those around us? There is a country song whose rueful refrain is "It's a little too late to do the right thing now." We could tamper with the words a bit and find in it a message for ourselves. "It's a little too late to say the right thing now." And that's true. We have each spewed our share of verbal garbage on the world and it's too late to eat the words others have already digested. It's too late to retract our harmful acts. But, as Scarlett O'Hara once said after spending several hours of movie time spouting hurtful words, "Tomorrow is another day." There is something called a second chance. There's God's grace to forgive, and there will always be a fresh opportunity to take the high road with the people around us, both those we love without even trying and those we have to work to love.
A version of this meditation appears in Patterns of Preaching: A Sermon Sampler, edited by Ronald J. Allen (St. Louis, Missouri: Chalice Press, 1998).