the hymn “it is well with my soul” makes me think of the hymn “be still, my soul” which makes me think of mama dear, my grandmother (my sweet momma’s momma.) (are you still keeping up?) these two strong women, so alike and yet so different – were both anchors in my world, quietly (and sometimes not-so-quietly) shaping my ability to walk in this world and have faith. my sweet momma, for my growing-up years, went to church most every sunday. she and my poppo got dressed up and we would go to christ lutheran church on burr road in east northport. i got to hang with my best friend sue and we went to youth group and sleepaway camp (cool as it was, those days i was never a really big fan of sleepaway camp) and, together, we memorized the books of the bible in order (i still have no idea what the purpose of this was.) i can’t remember mama dear going to church as much; she went on some weekends, on holidays with us or to special events. mama dear had bright red hair, taught me how to sew and adored going to las vegas to play the slot machines. she was obstinate and somewhat opinionated and one of the loves of my early life.
during the time i went to suffolk county community college, mama dear’s house was within reach and i would go there for lunch or tea. we’d eat rye-bread-toasted-with-melted-butter and i’d tell her everything that was going on in my life. she’d listen and, every now and again, she’d say a few words of wisdom. i could tell her anything. she let my soul breathe.
i’d come home from school during junior high and high school and my sweet momma and i would sit on the couch and have tea and chips ahoy chocolate chip cookies, my way-back-then favorite store-bought cookies. we’d talk about my day, the challenges that face girls in high school, cute boys who might have said a word or two, the kids smoking on the bus. she would listen and, every now and again, she’d say a few words of wisdom. i could tell her anything. she let my soul breathe. matter of fact, she let my soul breathe the whole time i had the privilege of having her physically in my life. she still does.
we need that. a place for our souls to breathe. people with whom we can let our souls breathe. a faith in this universe that opens us and simultaneously holds us gently and anchors us. then – we can say: it is well with my soul.
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson