“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” -C.S. Lewis
I love this quote. We seem to think of it the other way around, don’t we? As if this body and all our present physical concerns are the most important things in the world.
We feed our physical bodies, exercise them, dress them up and make them look good. We pay for manicures and massages, we treat our senses to chocolate and vacations and concerts; we indulge in things that make our flesh feel good. Few, if any of us, truly neglect our bodies.
But our souls? Most of us have souls that are emaciated, dehydrated and weak. We don’t take the time to pray, to seek solitude, to worship and give the deepest, most important part of us what it needs to thrive.
You are a Soul.
You ARE a Soul, an eternal one, temporarily trapped in a physical body. Your soul is who you are. Your body is just this thing that you’re forced to live in for a while.
I think this has never been more apparent to me than when my grandmother, Honey died last week. I went to her house shortly after her death—her arms and legs were still warm when I touched them. And it was the strangest feeling, one that is hard to describe exactly, but I will give it a try.
As close as I was to my grandmother, I felt very removed from the body that lay before me.
Because it wasn’t her. That wasn’t my Honey anymore.
And beyond those little farewell strokes along her arm, I didn’t feel the need to touch her again. So, I didn’t. I know that other family members did want to touch her, and that’s fine. I’m not knocking their experience of grief—it is what it is, and I’m glad they did what they needed to do.
But for me, how do I even explain how I felt? It’s probably a poor analogy but touching her body felt as preposterous as getting a long-awaited package from UPS, removing the gift inside, and then sitting there cuddling the empty box it was shipped in.
That box was just a vessel to bring me what I needed. Honey’s body was just a vessel to carry my most precious grandmother. And when her soul left it, that’s all her body was. It was empty. It was no longer her.
And I didn’t expect to feel this, but now I feel an attachment to her that I wasn’t able to feel during this last year or so of her suffering. Our souls are still connected, strongly so. They always will be.
As the pastor said at her funeral, you’ve only lost someone if you don’t know where they are. I know where Honey is, and it’s not in a pearl coffin in a silver vault atop Sand Mountain, Alabama.
She’s with Jesus, and through Him, she and I are still together.
Thank God that these bodies aren’t all that we are. When they wear out, we are still who we always were.
We’ve just been set free.