These past few weeks have been challenging for all of us. We all found ourselves in undesirable and unexpected situations as we had to face a reality most of us have never experienced before. We encountered unique challenges, concerns and fears.
We responded through our emotions, because our souls reacted to the facts created around us. Some people were drawn into fear or frenzy by the never-ending breaking news. Some were driven to fulfill basic needs for safety and security. Some coped by self-medicating our emotions and feelings in work or indulgence - in whatever form that might be.
I believe it is fair to say that we lost control over what would happen to our health, our families and our finances to an unknown and unseen virus. We still do not know if this virus will disappear or change our society forever. We still do not know how our lives and ministries will be impacted in a few weeks, or even months. No wonder we experienced all kinds of emotions. That is normal. And in these places of ashes of our hopes and plans, we need to experience Jesus.
We know that He is always loving, always present and always inviting us to grow closer to Him. We know that He is always working in our lives both when we find ourselves in places of beauty as well as in places of ashes. But we need to experience what we know to be true!
So, how do we experience Jesus?
We experience Jesus by paying attention to the emotions we experience, by paying attention to what makes us afraid. We experience Jesus by turning to Him when something we hold dear is threatened, by not ignoring that empty space in our soul we cannot fill ourselves. We experience Jesus by identifying the unmet needs, fears and concerns. We experience Jesus when we trust Him with our ashes instead of dealing with them ourselves. As followers of Jesus, we need Soul-Care - allowing our Good Shepherd to ‘restore our souls’ (Ps 23:3).
Soul-Care is God’s invitation to become aware of our inner lives and invite Him into the messiness of it. Soul-Care is growing in our intimate relationships with God by responding to what He is speaking into our lives. Soul-Care is noticing the audacious love and grace God pours into us and being transformed by that love. Soul-Care is learning to live out of our deepening relationship with God and our true identity in Christ. Soul-Care is wearing the crown of beauty God bestows on us while trusting Him with the ashes.
How about you? How are you taking care of your soul today?