How do we keep our souls healthy when we regularly see so much corruption and evil?
That’s always a challenge. But I think this past season has been especially tough because we’ve seen so much corruption in a place it shouldn’t exist—the church. And though many churches and church leaders exemplify the gospel, it’s so easy to get demoralized by those that don’t.
Someone recently commented on my blog that she feels “like the spouse who is confronted with the betrayal of her partner. Confused, hurt, angry, untrusting, foolish, exhausted, violated.” My heart breaks for this person and for so many others who feel just like her.
“I was discussing this struggle once with a close friend, and he urged me that especially considering my work as an investigative journalist, I need to take in beauty as a regular discipline.”
It’s hard to resist cynicism when confronting so much evil. Yet cynicism is a devastating disease of the soul. None of us want to become hardened. We want to remain open and receptive before God.
I was discussing this struggle once with a close friend, and he urged me that especially considering my work as an investigative journalist, I need to take in beauty as a regular discipline. At first, that seemed odd. Take in beauty? What does that even mean?
Yet, it’s Scriptural. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I’ve found that the more I practice this discipline of beauty, the healthier my soul becomes.
So now, I try to take in beauty daily by running on a beautiful path, picking flowers and putting them in vases throughout the house, watching an inspirational movie, or reading the Psalms.
But perhaps what’s most impactful for me is listening to music. But not just any music. What especially does it for me are songs about heaven. These songs remind me that my pain is temporary, but heaven is forever. And though so much seems broken now, some day, it will all be redeemed.
My guess is that many of you could use some refreshing today. So I’m posting some of my favorite songs about heaven and praying God uses them to revive your soul like they revive mine.
1. Deep Enough to Dream by Chris Rice. I absolutely love this song. Close your eyes and allow visions of heaven to fill your imagination. Trust me, you’ll feel 10 times better.
2. Heaven Song by Phil Wickam. “I hear Your voice and I catch my breath. Well done my child enter in, in rest. As tears of joy roll down my cheek . It’s beautiful beyond my wildest dreams.” Ya, I’m looking forward to that.
3. When We All Get to Heaven by Casting Crowns. Such a simple and sweet rendition of this classic hymn. Reminds me of my mother. Can’t wait to see her again in glory.
4. When I Get Where I’m Going by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton. Speaking of seeing loved ones again, there’s this country song by Brad Paisley. I actually discovered this song while looking for videos of my other favorites, and now I have a new one. I suspect this will be the only appearance of Dolly Parton on my blog.
5. I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me. A song so moving, it inspired a movie–and a really good movie at that.
6. Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful by Keith Green. No Christian artist has impacted my walk with the Lord more than Keith Green. His straight-up admonition to live without compromise challenged me immensely as a teenager and young adult. This isn’t a heaven song. (He has one, but it’s not one of my favorites.) But this is a beauty song, so I’m including it. Plus, what he says at the beginning of this recording is so apropos. Listen and be blessed.