Sunday, May 01, 2005

What is a Soul?

"What is a soul?"

Oh No, how am I going to be able to explain this one in the three minutes before I want you in bed? Or better yet, how am I going to be able to explain this at all?

"Well it is your essence. It is what makes you, you." There, that is the answer.

"Where is it in the body?"

"Umm, it isn't a body part. You can't see it in a picture."

"Then how do you know it is there?"

My little scientist strikes again, "because someone else can look exactly like you, but that doesn't make them you because they have a different soul. Do you understand what I am saying?"

"Okay," with a look in her eye that I know this conversation is long from over.

All I can think is "man I flubbed that."

I will admit that one of the places I fall short is sharing The Lord's message and love with the girls. We read the stories and discuss, yet MB always has some question about the abstract feeling or some other realm that I find nearly impossible to quantify in words. As adults we understand that there are things that are so great and powerful that words really cannot describe or explain. Yet, with her questions, which I love the fact that she thinks in a questioning way, blow me out of the water. I am often left stumbling and mumbling and wondering if I am totally failing at my primary duty.

She has a scientific mind and a mind that quickly sorts through information and discards that which she sees as fallacy (she is going to have a lot of fun with Logic one day), therefore I can see that it will be a struggle telling her "Just believe."

I say this because it is like looking in a mirror at this regard. I questioned and studied everything I could find on faith and religion from the time I was 11 or so. My faith began to grow when I was at the bottom of my life. It was the night of my last drunk and as I lay there wondering if there was any hope for me, The Lord came to me. No, I did not see him, but His love and His comfort were there and words raced through my being "Have you had enough? Are you ready to come to me? I am here for you. I am waiting for you." My desire to drink did not go away permanently that night and I still struggled with things. I didn't even really go to Him from that night on. It still took me several more years of growing for that. But from that night on I knew that He was there and that He cared about me.

My faith, my belief has grown out of that night. But how to explain that type of belief to a child who does not accept the answer "because I know it is true." Who instead wants to go out and test everything herself to find out it is true. I don't want her journey to resemble my journey. I want to give her and her sisters the gift of belief straight on from childhood.

So I struggle to find answers to her questions. Because so often the answer is "Just Believe and you will see."

Anyway this whole scene began because we are reading On the Banks of Plum Creek and today we read the chapter in which Laura and Mary pray the children's prayer "Now I lay myself down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake. I pray the Lord my soul to take." I do not like this poem/prayer. For years I fell asleep staring at a needlepoint of this hung across from my bed and all I could think was "Lord, I don't want to die." I realize that when the poem was written life was a struggle and even young children understood about death. Death wasn't special, it happened. But the last thing I want my children to imagine before they fall asleep is the thought that they might die in their sleep.

Okay, on to other things. Last night before I fell asleep I was flipping through the Old Testament just seeing what would catch my eye. Last night it was something in Job that I ha unerlined before. But I continued reading and further on I found the following verses. They caught my eye and I really don't have much to say about them. I just wanted to share.

Job 33:27-30
Then he comes to men and says,
I sinned, and perverted what was right,
but I did not get what I deserved.
He redeemed my soul from going
down to the pit,
and I will live to enjoy the light.
God does all these things to a
man -
twice, even three times -
to turn back his soul from the pit,
that the light of life may shine
on him.

Job 35:5-8
Look up at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds so high above
If you sin, how does that affect Him?
If your sins are many, what does
that do to Him?
If you are righteous, what do you
give to Him,
or what does He receive from
your hand?
Your wickedness affects only a man
like yourself,
and your righteousness only the
sons of men.

Have a blessed and happy Sunday.


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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.