It’s funny how hearing an old song can incite so many memories! I came across this old gospel album yesterday, and as I listened to each song again, my mind traveled 30 years back in time.
It was the mid 80s. I was a teenager, maybe 14 or 15 years old. I spent a lot of those summers at the home of my pastor and his wife as I babysat their grandkids. I loved being there! We splashed around in their pool, I laid on the deck and read my $3 teen romance novels and watched the kids show off their new flips and underwater tricks while we all turned five shades darker! I remember my pastor’s wife, Sis Margie Martin, would bring popsicles and lemonade to us at the pool side. She loved to spoil the kids, including me!
We would all go inside to eat and cool off at noon when the sun would blaze straight overhead. I’ll never forget how her house always seemed to have a cool breeze and the scent of fresh linen floating through. I can still see her blue and white curtains rolling in softly as gospel music drifted through the house.
This album by Sandra Crouch was one of her favorites! I remember one afternoon in particular very well. I sat at her table with the grandkids as she fixed lunch, singing in her rich voice along with Sandra…My Soul Loves Only You. I pondered the lyrics while I ate my peanut butter and jelly. When I got a chance, I asked her, “How can your soul love other people, like your family, if it only loves God?”
Her response was quick and unforgettable. “Christi, we can love things with our mind, heart and soul. We think with our minds, and our minds can love reading, playing games, sports, and all the different ways that our thoughts are most entertained. Our heart is how we love our family and friends. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense why we love certain people, and that’s because you love them with your heart, and your heart doesn’t think. You can love a boyfriend with your heart, which is why it feels pain if your heart is broken by someone.”
She went on, “But our souls were ONLY supposed to love our Creator. Nothing else, and no one else. Our soul is where our faith and values live. It is the core of our being and thrives on what we feed it. If you love something with your soul, you are consumed by it. It is the backbone of your life. Christi, always keep your soul reserved just for God. Keep your focus on Him every day. If your soul loves only Him, no matter what friends and family do, you will always choose Him.”
Soon after that, Sis Martin spoke to our youth group in more depth about loving only God with your soul. As the voices of my friends rose up around me and we sang the song together, I remember thinking, “This is what I want for my soul – just to be saturated with love for God, just Him in my soul space, no matter how crazy other people might be acting in my life.”
It’s been many years, but as I hear this song again I can’t help but wonder how much easier my life would have been if I had always kept my promise that day to keep my SOUL from loving anyone or anything else but God. I think about all the different “stuff” in my life today, and I am reminded not to let other things, people, or desires creep in and consume that place that should be set aside for loving only Him.
What does YOUR soul love?