The Soul Anchor
They say the body is about a pound lighter after death, and that that is the weight of the soul.
This is not news to me, nor to you – the part about the soul being a part of the man or woman. The physical weight though we’ll leave up to the coroners.
So…there are a lot of ways we can go with the idea of something that anchors our souls (or not?). What I want to talk about is what God’s revealed word to us in the Biblical letter to the Hebrew people, says about a “soul anchor”.
It must be said: I have the tattoo of an anchor on my arm, maybe to draw attention to my maybe being in the Navy? But also, to remember the anchor as one of the main symbols early Christians, persecuted ferociously by emperor Nero, used to unite each other. A prisoner might draw the sign of an anchor on a prison wall to encourage a future prisoner, that there IS an anchor for our souls, found in the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
But the Bible gets more exact about the soul anchor – the book of Hebrews says it is Hope! Specifically it is the hope of the good news in the. Bible, about the Messiah, and His people’s deliverance. But I like to think the anchor for the soul is also in a broader sense, hope in itself.
We see it all the time, everywhere…”Attitude is Everything!” Could this be a hope declaration? A negativist practically wears their disbelief in hope on their sleeve. “Down with Trump!…No new taxes!…Hell no we won’t go!” Ad nauseam. Not so much…”Keep it up Donald!…I love my current tax rate!…Thanks for the offer, but we’ll stay WHERE WE’RE AT!”
A good attitude can only come from someone who is grounded, in something to hopeful for. But even if the situation looks bleak, hope is a necessary tool in the belt. We all would give false hope to our family if it meant life or death. “Hold on, the ambulance is almost here!”
Hope is found in trust. And some like to find comfortable hope, by joining an affiliation, like a fraternity, taking a stance, like Democrat or Republican? The country song says pessimistically, “you gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” I disagree.
I believe Hope is connected to a time in human history.
Furthermore, I believe Hope is a person, a spirit, that resides in our very being, a seal stamped onto our minds and hearts by God himself (the Alpha and Omega – beginning and end), guiding us, comforting us, and pointing us back to Jesus as a man, to the hall of faith members in Hebrews 11 who cheer US on…and forward, to eternity spent with God himself.
You can’t say hope isn’t real when you talk to Corrie Ten Boom or Anne Frank. You can’t say there was mere happenstance or a good attitude keeping the Christians in the first century churches going. Say the same for Chinese Christians, meeting underground with shared smuggled Bibles or for Muslim converts to Christ, fearing rejection by their families, and fearing for their lives.
What keeps the fire stoked, to persevere under such duress? Is it a well educated attitude, toughness inspired by great leadership? Gut conviction? Protection of familial community?
I would say Hope has such qualities as its fingers. It has the universal body of believers as its branches.
At its core, it must be a living being…