Have you ever had a conversation with someone and seemingly out of no where the person you are talking to says, “Just so you know” and then proceeds to give you some deep and serious information.  Have you ever wondered to yourself what brought that on?  What made the person you were talking to feel they had to tell you this serious information?

The other day I was talking to Dino in the cancer center.  He has been undergoing treatment for brain cancer for a number of years.  He has been doing fairly well with his treatments and has been able to spend quite a bit of time following his son’s activities in his senior year of college.  I knew that his son was a pitcher on the baseball team so when I saw him I asked how things were going with his son as the baseball season was starting to heat up.  With a big smile Dino said, “He’s doing great.  So far he is 4 and 0 and his era is 1.33.” Fortunately I know enough about  baseball to know that as era of 1.33 is pretty outstanding so I rejoiced with Dino that his son is doing so well and that he would be seeing his son play in four more games on the upcoming weekend.

And then Dino switched topics and said,”Just so you know. I’m not doing so well with my cancer right now.  Things have changed and the doctor is now trying a different regimen.  She is using this treatment where she puts a kind of cap on my head that sends heat into my brain which helps to fight the cancer.  Cancer cells don’t like heat and hopefully this will help to hold down the cancer in my brain.”  I had noticed the cap that Dino talked about peeking out from under his baseball cap and appreciated him filling me in on what was going on with his battle with his cancer.

But what struck me is how he had to tell me about this.  He didn’t need me to ask him how he was doing.  He didn’t need a segue way to flow naturally to the subject of his health.  He had to tell me.  He had to bring it up.

I have been thinking of a number of things since that conversation that help me to understand why people say,”Just so you know”.  Dino has come to know me well enough that he can share deep and intimate things with me.  He wants me to know this is a major shift in his battle with his cancer and he wants me to be on board with him if he needs to tell me even more serious things in the future.  He wants me to know that this news has made him even more conscious of how precious life is.  As he looks at his son and his wife and all the things going on in his life he wants to make the most of it.  He wants to savor all of his blessings.  He wants to give thanks for all that he has.  If his life is coming to its conclusion he wants to embrace all that he has been given and find peace in knowing God has blessed him and will bless him in the life to come.

So the next time someone says to you,”Just so you know” be prepared to receive some significant information.  Be prepared to listen deeply.  Be prepared to open your heart.  Be prepared to provide a hand to hang onto and a heart to embrace the person speaking to you. “Just so you know” is a call to every caring heart to report for duty.

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