Now consider the Holy Spirit at work within a person, or greater yet, through the community of the church. In the initial moments following birth, we take a breath. The first sound we make comes from exhaling over our vocal chords… to cry… indicating that our needs are immediate and demanding. Over time, with the loving nurture and help of family, we learn to form words and speak to others. Hopefully, through childhood development, understanding and empathy can be discovered to act in selfless ways. Throughout life, when we manage to do so, we are revealing a characteristic of the Spirit working within human interaction.
Unfortunately, the words we shape with our breath, tongue, jaw, and lips aren’t always generous or easily spoken in selfless ways. This might be because the world is filled with many different languages which speak of competing interests. We grow fearful of not having enough.
Another cue from the scripture shows how the Spirit sparked understanding within a multicultural gathering. Despite differences in language – which too often still cause difficulty, distress, and distance – a life changing revelation gave witness to the breath of the Holy Spirit powering discernment, sparking witness and salvation. Might it still happen?
When we find inadequacy in understanding a foreign phrase
we don’t have to hold on to what was,
we can learn how to appreciate and connect in other ways.
God’s love is always inviting, welcoming, encouraging, showing,
and we come to believe this because,
the wind is always freshening, moving, sounding, surrounding… blowing.
Pastor Richard Wagner