Friday, February 24, 2012
Riding on the Wind
In An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor writes concerning Biblical brushes with God: "People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness. God shows up in whirlwinds, starry skies, burning bushes, and perfect strangers. When people want to know more about God, the Son of God tells them to pay attention to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, to women kneading bread and workers lining up for their pay.
"Whoever wrote this stuff," she writes, "believed that people could learn as much about the ways of God from paying attention to the world as they could from paying attention to scripture."
I sat on my couch this morning here in the sunroom, Bible open in my lap, but the effects of a late night sinus headache had left my mind dull and my eyes dim. I listen best with my eyes closed, and that's when I heard it ... off in the distance. Being an oddly warm morning for late February, I arose and opened the window and then went back to my position. Again, I listened. It was now stronger. I could hear its approachment through the pines long before I could hear its encroachment on the chimes hanging just outside the window. And then it was upon me. The wind.
It is not difficult to correlate the wind with the Holy Spirit. John 3:8, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." And who can't get excited when reading Acts 2? "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting ... All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit."
And so I couldn't help but lay my head back and let my listening become prayer. Sometimes words are necessary. Other times they are not ... such as this morning when what was really necessary was to just pay attention and know God.
Just an ordinary moment....