The last time I heard that hymn sung was a Karl Road Christian Church on Thursday morning when I attended and spoke at the funeral of Don Sexton. He was a member of the "greatest generation" and a man of faith. And most importantly, a friend of Chuck's. "It is Well with my Soul" was sung at the end of the funeral service and we all were moved to tears but most especially Chuck. And I was happy to be sitting beside him - not in the front of the church as the pastor - but as his wife with my arm around him.
That is one of the "soul filled" experiences of this past week for me. Later that afternoon I sat with my "peer group" of spiritual directors and went into silence and listened for God speaking to us. One of the images that came up in me has stayed with me for the last few days. It was - in some sense - an example of the "midrash" that we do in our relationship with God's word. Because the image was from the Bible of Jesus who said - "Let the Children Come" and the disciples who tried to block their way.
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
What I saw in this was the way the child in me wants to come to Jesus and the serious Disciple (in me) wants to rebuke her. I continue to learn that there is a part of me that wants expression - that is not so serious - but there is another part of me that silences her. And so, when this image came I realized how much my soul needs to reflect on that.
And then Friday came with its variety of soulful experiences - from working at a funeral home to spending time with Maggie, my two year old granddaughter who shows me what being a child looks like - imaginative play, spontaneity, and experiencing emotions in the moment.
Which leads me to today and the morning I spent doing "soul work" through creating soul cards. We began in a circle with several readings. Here are two of them:
Be still when you have nothing to say: when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot. - DH Lawrence
The soul is naturally inclined toward wholeness, and gravitates toward images that have relevance to this quest even when your intellect does not know why. Soul knows where it needs to go long before the mind." - Seena Frost, founder of Soul Collage
Afterwards we were presented with tables and tables full of images and invited to allow them to speak to us. Then eventually we each put together our own soul collages. The process is hard to describe but it really was wonder - full. I found myself immediately drawn to a picture of a man flying and realized that my theme was about letting go and "soaring." The soul card I created has a lot of very personal imagery for me - of a tree, a woman praying, a raccoon and the man flying. Hard to describe but an expression of my soul's desire.
Afterwards we sat with another person and finished this statement as guided by our own creation.
Here is what I found myself saying: : I am one who.....
- wants to be free
- wants to fly
- wants to face the ways in which I am unfree
- is not afraid of her shadow
- is faithful
- wants to be whole
And so, on this Saturday afternoon I find myself singing again "it is well with my soul. "