I wanted to know how she was doing. So I looked her in the eye, leaned forward a little bit and asked "Is it well with your soul today?" I wanted her to know it was okay to take her time and be candid.
Possibly because the syntax was unfamiliar and strange to her, she said "I'm not sure what you mean..."
The next thing I know, I had burst into song:
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot
Thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
One of my favorites from my church-centered childhood.
The wellness of my own soul was affirmed in the singing. Also, she came to understand what I was asking and we had an uncommonly heartfelt conversation.
If my mother hadn't urged me to become a teacher, I would have been a great one.