When I audition for voiceover work, I describe my voice as “easy-on-the-ears” to potential clients. I like to think of my voice as being pleasant and comforting and nice to listen to. The other day I spent some time with a truly wonderful friend; she’s the type of person that makes you feel better just by being in her presence. As we departed and went our separate ways I started thinking about her kindness and gentle nature and all of a sudden, out of the blue, came the notion that some folks, like this particular friend, are “easy-on-the-soul”.
We humans, despite our resilience and strength, are delicate beings. Our souls, that essence that distinguishes us from animals, can be bruised easily and all-to-readily. Unkind words pierce us; a wounded friend can hurt us almost unwittingly; the loss of a loved one breaks our hearts; regret and shame weigh us down. Some folks add to the burden; they are needy or quarrelsome or not nice; being in their presence costs our souls dearly; they exhaust and wound us. But some people do just the opposite; those are the folks who are “easy-on-the-soul”, folks like my friend, who help us heal or grow or simply enjoy a good day even more.
Jesus, I would suggest, was “easy-on-the-soul”. It was His nature to care for others and build them up. He certainly challenged His followers, but it was always for their good, not His own. Jesus always had the best interest of His Disciples at heart; even when He knew He would leave, He assured them that they would not be left alone; the Holy Spirit would see to their Spiritual needs as well as He did.
What Jesus offered His disciples, both in terms of the Holy Spirit’s support and His own “easy-on-the-soul” presence is available to us as well. It is His great gift to us and it is both a comfort and a challenge. It is a comfort because there is nothing like being loved by God’s own Son. It is a challenge because those who would follow and honour Jesus are called to be “easy-on-the-soul”.
Maybe challenge is the wrong word; to be “easy-on-the-soul” isn’t a hard thing, nor is it something we do because we are forced against our will or competing for a heavenly reward. The right word might be “blessing”; just as Jesus has blessed us with His “easy-on-the-soul” presence and example, we are invited to bless others. You may have people in your life that are “easy-on-the-soul”, the people that, no matter how bad things are, manage to make things better, whether it’s with a kind word or simply being with you when you need them. People like that are treasures, true gifts and blessings that reflect Jesus’ love and kindness. Can that be said of you? It’s not too hard. If you love others as Jesus loves you, then you too can be “easy-on-the-soul”.