Monthly Archives: August 2012

Soul Care

The pressure was unspeakable. King David was alone, desperately trying to survive. In the throes of one of the darkest periods in his life, he puts his feelings out there for all to read, “No one cares for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4) Obviously, David was in the midst of one of those “nobody loves me, everybody hates me” type of days. We all want to be noticed, cared for and loved. But how much effort do we put into caring for one another’s souls?

For my daily Bible reading, I recently decided to tackle the book of Romans. I hadn’t even gotten through the first chapter, when I felt like I had been shot between the eyes. Romans 1:12 speaks of being mutually encouraged by one another’s faith. And I had to ask myself “How often do I take the time to spiritually encourage another person? Do I go out of my way to let people know they are significant?” In my journal, I wrote truthfully that I’m not the best spiritual encourager. I’m probably bringing up the rear.

What is amazing is that God gives us in each day, an opportunity to positively shape and mold those whose paths we cross with simple words of prayer. There is great power in prayer. It tells another that we have their back, that we are there to cheer them on, that we believe the best for one another. Prayer unites us as a community that delights in each other’s successes, celebrates each other’s joys and uplifts each other’s broken hearts.

Prayer for another is not simply a nice thing to do. When we are praying for another, we are locking arms with another. We create a God-sized defense around that person by letting them know they are not alone – that there truly is someone who is caring for their souls.

We all need a community of people who pray for us, who lovingly tend to our soul care by initiating a conversation that reverberates in heaven. Prayer is a powerful expression of faith bringing us into the very throne room of the Almighty God. When we pray, God listens. And He knows exactly what is needed even if our words tumble out and we struggle with their meaning.

Is there someone God is calling you to pray for today?  Someone, who like David, might think there is no one around that cares for their souls?

Then why not give them a call or send them an email? Better yet, email them a prayer or pray for them over the phone. Whisper to them what a privilege it is for you to share life with them. Tell them they are truly beloved of God, and yes, you truly do care for their soul.


Pizzazz.  That’s what I was looking for.  An attention getter.  Most importantly, I wanted the photograph to capture the special bond between me and my dog, Rascal – a picture illustrating the tight connection between us.  And in the process bring me comfort and healing since Rascal had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

It was a tall order, I admit, so I went searching for backdrops. Something to make us stand out, yet was in keeping with our personalities. When I found something that might work, I’d pester my husband to take a few pictures. Summoning every creative molecule in his body, he’d snap away, but the results would be less than spectacular.  Oh, I don’t blame him.  I was asking him to use a lens to capture a feeling, an insight into my soul all the while I was yelling at him, “Don’t get my butt in the picture.”

It seemed I’d never find the perfect backdrop to make Rascal’s black and white fur stand out and my blue eyes sparkle. Looking back it was an exercise in futility because although Richard managed to snap some great pictures, there was never one that truly stirred my soul. That’s because no picture could ever give me what the deep recesses of my heart longed for – more time with my canine companion.

When my life’s hurts become overwhelming, I don’t have to go searching for backdrops. Soothing comfort can be found in the backdrops God provides.  Luke wrote, “He will be a joy and delight to you and many will rejoice because of His birth.” (Luke 1:14)  In a lowly manger, God came to this world and other than the angels singing that night to the shepherds, his birth went widely unnoticed by the inhabitants of Israel.

Yet it was the beginning of many more backdrops – a merciless cross – an empty tomb and with that, eternity itself. His backdrops change everything about life. There are times when what He has asked me to do simply doesn’t make sense to me. But against that backdrop I found that faith is a matter of blind obedience, not human logic.

Life doesn’t lack the rough spots. But it takes storms to teach us that God is faithful and will provide the strength to stand firm.

Only when we sit at the feet of Jesus, surrendering our plans and dreams, do we discover that Christ came not to eliminate the storms of life. No, he came to fill those storms with His presence. We can always count on His joy in us when we face the storms of life – a truth that makes our hearts sing and our souls dance.

And with each storm comes the victory waiting to be claimed – the awesome privilege of clinging tightly to the hand of God.