vivek jones

Kingdom Wisdom

Body or Soul – What's more important?


The hospital strangely started resembling a second home to us. It had been a week in there. JM began showing signs of recovery from the fever. We used every trick in the book to make him eat three spoons of food three times a day, a herculean task even when things were well. The doctors and nurses were familiar to us now. Initially, I despised seeing them but now we were chatting up when they paid a routine visit. We discussed medical science, traffic, pollution & politics. Even the security personnel manning all the corners recognized me. It was getting better.

One evening, I was contemplating all the happenings as my son watched television perched on his bed. So much had happened in such a short span. It was a cataclysmic week that would be indelibly etched in my heart for all time. Now it made sense how Mary, the mother of Jesus, would keep certain things in her heart concerning her son. This was probably what that looked like. As I sat lost in my thoughts, God’s Spirit reminded me again that I was to capture and live these ‘hospital moments’ in His strength for His glory. So I prayed asking Him to expose my hidden sins. And the Spirit freshly convicted me of one.

I was emotionally affected that week with the goings-on at the hospital. JM was on my mind. A LOT! I thought of him often, prayed for him often, was anxious for him, cried for him, but in everything I trusted God ultimately. In itself that would have seemed like a good Christian response. A life of faith, if you will. Well, there was a stark dark reality staring at me as I thought through it. A daring question crept into my mind, pinning me down. Was I affected by JM’s sinful heart condition as much as his physical condition?

Wow! That was unsettling. Did I ever have such an emotional experience for my son’s spiritually dead condition as much as his dying physical condition? The answer was crushing me. Did not Jesus teach in Matt 10:28 that I should be more fearful of the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell rather than those who can destroy merely my body? Yes, the point of the passage immediately deals with whom we fear. But it also deals with what we value more — the body or the soul. What was I valuing more? The thoughts that surfaced within me wanted to defend my righteousness but the Spirit silenced them all.

Body or Soul?

Body or Soul?

Though theoretically, I seemed to be very concerned for my son’s walk with God, functionally I was indeed more mindful of my son’s body than his soul. The Spirit did not stop there. He made me think whether I was as concerned for my own ongoing sins as much? Did it it trouble me enough to run to my Saviour for His grace?

I plunged into a time with God. He and me. In a corner. I asked God to forgive me for making  light of sin and the demand sin placed on my Saviour, Jesus. He came and died for this. How convenient it was for me to be more aware of my physical woes and not be as affected by my ongoing sin miseries! How would I ever find joy in my new identity without reflecting on its foundation, that Christ died for my sin and was raised on my behalf. What a  work was executed by my savior on my behalf and yet how I stared more at my son’s suffering or mine rather than Jesus’ perfect suffering! How easy it was for me to curse prosperity/health preachers who exalted the present physical needs more than what was eternal. Functionally, wasn’t I living a less condemning, conservative, evangelical version of just that? I pleaded with my Father in heaven to forgive my walking by sight and I looked to Jesus’ finished work on the cross to forgive even this sin. Like Abraham, I looked to him fully convinced that He was more than able to make me walk this journey prizing Christ more than anyone or anything else.

As I opened my eyes and looked around, I noticed that my son had slept off. I stood up to switch off the TV and then went to lower his bed so that he could rest comfortably. There, I observed the mesh of tubes around him. And I was moved deeply. But it was different this time!

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  1. Thank you for this post Vivek.. through these hard times, your’s and John mark’s experience has left me these prized words – “Like Abraham, I looked to him fully convinced that He was more than able to make me walk this journey prizing Christ more than anyone or anything else.”

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