How is it with your soul? That’s the question of the day. That’s a deep searching we each should take stock of.

Its important for us to consider the state of our soul. What we know about the soul is, it is the core of who we are. It is the essence of God in us. Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into him the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” If you are familiar with James Weldon Johnson’s The Creation, he phrases that moment this way…

“Up from the bed of the river

God scooped the clay;

And by the bank of the river

He kneeled him down;

And there the great God Almighty

Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,

Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,

Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;

This great God,

Like a mammy bending over her baby,

Kneeled down in the dust

Toiling over a lump of clay

Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,

And man became a living soul.”

It is in that creative moment when the soul comes to be. When, not just breath, but THE breath of God, vivifies each of us and our soul comes to life. The soul is what gives us true substance. Life can be maintained by a variety of mechanical devices. CPR can be administered when needed, to get the heart and lungs to work again. But only the breath of God can make this lump of clay we call our bodies, animate and become truly human. Its the breath of God that makes us who we truly are.

Glory Dy, writing in says, “The soul is basically our mind, our emotions, and our will. It is who we are as human beings. But it is also used to express God. As written in Luke 1:46-47, Mary’s song, “And Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Its clear the soul is not simply the bodily functions of hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling and feeling. It is truly what makes us who and whose we are. Dy goes on to say, “we express our humanity to God through our souls and magnify His power and presence through our souls.” Our soul is the true reflection of who God is, God’s image, God’s presence, the imago dei, in us.

Its one thing to ask ourselves how we’re doing, give a check on how we are feeling at any given time. Are you physically okay? No aches and pains? No breathing difficulties? No problems with blood pressure or other vitals? These are questions that address the physical nature of our life. To ask how it is with our soul is a completely different kind of inquiry.

I believe we need to be in touch enough with our inner being to be able to address the question. We need to know where our soul has been lifted, what has made our soul sing with joy. We need to know where our soul has been beaten down by the drumbeat of life. Finally, we need to ascertain if our soul has maintained our connection to the spark of real life that has been breathed into us. Are we simply going through the day to day monotony that we all can succumb to? Is life just putting one foot in front of the other? Or has our soul been vibrated by God’s calling to be the image of God in the world? Are we reflecting God in what we say and do? Are we seeing and recognizing God in those around us? Are we magnifying and glorifying God in our world?

When I take an honest assessment of the state of my soul, I have to acknowledge where my soul feels lacking, as well as where my soul is burning brightly. For me, each day provides a review of how my soul is doing. Its not a time for me to brag or boast, or “shuck and jive” to avoid and evade the depth of inquisitiveness. Its a time to take a good look at who I’m being, who I’m reflecting, and to be in touch with the God who lives and breathes in me.

Its a very personal question to ask “How is it with your soul?” Its personal because only you can answer that question. There are outward signs which may give clues, but you, and only you, can truly ascertain the state of your soul and your relationship with God.

I think the other thing to keep in mind is, its not a pass or fail inquiry. Its simply a time to reflect and be in touch with what our soul needs and thirsts for. Then we can seek and provide what will nourish our souls so that we can become more and more like who we are created to be. When its time for our soul to depart from this life, the hope is it will be well with our soul. Maybe that’s when death truly comes, when it is well with our soul and it can wing its way back to where it came from.

God of all of us, you are in us; breathing and moving inside our souls. You are what makes our soul truly live. We know and acknowledge this. Help us to set aside the time to be in touch with our soul and you. Give us the discernment to know what we need and to seek it out. Truly Lord, make it well with my soul. Amen.

Your companion on the Way,

Pastor Tom

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