Last weekend I watched the documentary on Netflix that followed Michelle Obama on her book tour for Becoming. Michelle Obama shared that personal attacks and racist stereotypes “changes the shape of a person’s soul.” I stopped the program for a while and wrote that phrase down. I have been pondering it since.
- the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
- the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come: arguing the immortality of the soul.
- the disembodied spirit of a deceased person: He feared the soul of the deceased would haunt him.
- the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.
- a human being; person.
Feelings, emotions. I view soul in this instance to be emotions and morals interwoven together. I have never been in the shoes of someone who has experienced soul changing racial discrimination as Michelle talked about in her book. It must be excruciating.
I think many of us have experienced something in our lives that have changed the shape of our souls. The hard things that change us are easier to remember, unfortunately. For example, I still have a vivid memory of my dad calling me “thunder thighs” at dinner when I was 13 years old. It was crushing. Still is. He probably has no recollection of it. I also remember how my soul felt when got my master’s degree. While working full time plus two jobs and getting it done in 2 and a half years. My soul felt strong after.
“Always be ready to give and explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for you hope…” 1 Peter 3:15
For those in my life who don’t believe in God, I ask them where they find hope. My faith and hope in God shape my soul. Over two months into this pandemic, I am realizing it is changing my soul. I’m trying to hang on to hope so that the shape of my soul changes for the good. As I connect with people, especially GA kids right now, I hope I am projecting my hope even though I’m not sure what my soul is going to look like when are able to get to “There was great joy in that city.” Acts 8:8
Our joys are smaller and sweeter right now. They are also few and far between. But joys all the same. Our souls are changing. Let’s be kind to each other.