Pastor Dan Held Sulphur Grove United Methodist Huber Heights, OH



As a Pastor, I have run the gamut in my limited tenure from singing classic hymns of the church to singing praise songs of a far more contemporary nature in Christian worship. I have noticed over the years that many of the old classics have mostly been relegated to funerals. Songs like “How Great Thou Art” rarely are woven into traditional Christian worship anymore.   Another one seldom sung except at funerals is “It is Well with My Soul.”   Do you remember that one?

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

  Sound like one you’ve heard before, sung before?   If so, be honest in saying where.    Hopefully, not the funeral of yet another dear saint of our faith.

  I find myself wondering why we so rarely sing praise songs at funerals , and why we so seldom sing about how well it is with our souls in our most contemporary of weekend celebrations in worship. Do we just hesitate to celebrate anything using the old King’s English?  Or do we maybe doubt the validity of a soul’s worth, however well it attendeth our way before and not just after our mortal bodies die?

  I really don’t know.   But I do have some opinions, not just concerning the our placement of classic hymns back into non-funeral worship, but about God’s placement of our souls into our human minds and bodies for the sake of our general health and wellness.  I think wellness in this world actually begins with the soul, which is bigger than the mind that is bigger than our bodies.   It is within our souls that, after all, we first can appreciate how much bigger God is than all else in the universe, especially the various cells within our mortal bodies. One of God’s biggest ideas as our Creator may well have been situating our souls within our earthly minds and bodies to divinely care and “watch out for” that which is in our best interest.   Don’t know about others, but my soul tells me to sing “it is well” far ahead of my eventual funeral here on earth.   Maybe even as part of a weekly celebration.

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

  Some years back I took much interest in reading “Chicken Soup for the Soul” essays and found much inspiration therein with which to better my soul.   Now, I’ve reached something of a contrary opinion that my soul is what inspires me to make better chicken soup, the latter being a metaphor for our bodily nutrition.   I now ask not what my body can do for my soul, but what my soul can do for my body.   Maybe it’s time for some essays on what our souls can do for our chicken soup , that is, our daily wellness and nutrition.   Maybe it’s not my body’s and mind’s place to make well my soul, but quite the opposite.   Maybe it’s time to put the soul before the soup.

    Which brings up a question of interest to all of us who are cancer companions in this world.  How is our bigger God going about making our souls well in order to better inform our minds to make wise choices for our bodies?   What are our essays, our stories, our testimonies of “peace like a river” attending our way?   What is our pre-funeral song of celebration especially on those days when our “sorrows like sea billows roll?”

     This is a blog not just about my own opinions or even questions.   It is a blog to move forward the conversation about how your story, that’s right  —  yours!  you know who you are! – your soul’s God-given wellness is worth saying, even singing about, today.   I’m waiting to read your comments.  They may be recipes for that chicken soup I’m still trying to make.

This entry was posted in Cancer Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *