What Makes a Soul More Beautiful?

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It’s been a weary week so far. My mother-in-law spent the weekend in the hospital with pneumonia. She spent last night in our home coughing and wheezing and being understandably upset. My husband spent much of the night trying to help and comfort Mom.

Sometime during the night, or early morning, I read my Streams in the Desert devotional for November 12th. And one paragraph especially spoke to me…

“Brightly colored sunsets and starry heavens, majestic mountains and shining seas, and fragrant fields and fresh-cut flowers are not even half as beautiful as a soul who is serving Jesus out of love, through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life.” ~Frederick William Faber

I wish I could say my motives are always about serving Jesus out of love. I think my love for Jesus is hopefully always a factor to some degree, but I probably too often serve out of duty and/or because I have no choice.

Like last night when my mother-in-law slid onto the floor from a recliner. And my husband woke me up about four in the morning for help. I don’t know if that counts as serving Jesus out of love. We just couldn’t leave her on the floor. I did pray and ask for wisdom, and God helped us get her up, and I’m grateful for that.

I think those of us who are caregivers understand that we do what we have to do. But I wonder if many, or any, of us feel like “beautiful souls” while we are doing it.

But what if we are? What if our Heavenly Father is looking at us and smiling? What if He’s saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Or even, “This is my son/daughter. With him/her I am well pleased.”

What if all the sacrifices, the lack of freedom, loss of wages, emotional and health strains and sleeplessness, are all growing our own souls? What if our rewards are being stored up in Heaven?

What if all this hard stuff is teaching us to love more deeply and culling away selfishness and self-centeredness?

What if serving Jesus as a caregiver really is making our souls beautiful, “through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life?”

6 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I have saved every one that I have read. I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s last May (2019) and funny thing, this morning, That same Faber quote came up as a “memory” in FaceBookfrom 2016. It really got to me, as well. Thank you again and God bless you as you speak for so many of us who have been or are currently caregivers.

  2. Thanks so much, Cheryl, for the encouragement. I don’t feel much of anything about myself anymore except worn out it seems. I do know God’s strength and grace have become quite necessary and precious to me and I rarely go a day without reading God’s word or spending time in prayer. It is becoming quite apparent to me that all this care giving IS “growing my soul” as you say. May God bless you and your husband as you care for his mom.

    1. I relate, Ivy. I so need God’s strength and grace and am so grateful for His Word and prayer. I don’t know how anyone does this without Him. May He continue to bless and strengthen you!

  3. This particular writing speaks to my soul. Not only for me, but for my sister in law who is walking this path right now, for my Dad who took loving care of my Mom until she passed last January. Thank you for your insights!

    1. I’m grateful to hear this is meaningful to you, Kimbra, but so sorry about the loss of your mom. It always encourages me to hear God is using this blog to touch people. May He bless you. ~Cheryl

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