Clergy View: 'How is it with your soul?'

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Pastor Bethany Nelson

“How is it with your soul?”

Founder of Methodism John Wesley was known to ask this often. His intent was to offer more than a simple greeting, but to create space for a deeper, honest reflection. It’s a question we might rather skip over, jumping instead to a safe response that everything is “fine.” But is it, really? How are things, dear reader, with your soul today?

I suspect that for most of us, we find feelings of grief, isolation and worry. I suspect our souls are tired. Not because we need a nap or more restful sleep, but because the state of things in our community, country and world are hard.

You’re not alone. Though our social lives look very different than a year ago, a common thread in our lives remain — we share experiences of this new time. We’ve all developed new rhythms and routines. We’ve found new ways to connect with others. True, COVID-19 cases are increasing at alarming rates, hospitals are full and medical staff are worn thin. Our children are home, with teachers and parents stretched thin. By this point, it’s likely we’ve all known someone who has been sick with COVID-19, who has suffered financial setbacks, or otherwise stressed in new ways. You may be physically distanced from others, but you are not alone. Not from these shared experiences nor our Creator who sees and cares for you.

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus invites us to find rest and comfort in him, trusting that none of our burdens are too heavy.


As you consider the well being of your soul, how is Christ’s comfort and hope present? Perhaps you’ve decorated early and are finding reminders of God in the twinkling trees or warm fireplaces? Maybe you’ve discovered comfort in long phone calls. Or in the safety of masks, you embody God's love in this act of care for yourself and our community.

While our souls may be weary and need rest in God, there remains many places of joy. I’ve witnessed signs of goodness in the people and organizations who have shared countless meals with kids, love embodied as we wear our masks, hope in the ways we creatively connect to others through video calls, letters and distanced gatherings.

How is it with my soul? I am hopeful that amid all that is 2020, God’s goodness remains found in the hearts and actions of our community. In the unknown days ahead, I pray we find peace for our souls in the faithfulness of God and goodness of our community resting in Christ’s promised presence.

Bethany Nelson is pastor at Park United Methodist Church.


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