“In the breezy part of the day…” God walked in the Garden of Eden at this time. Not sure when that is, but it makes sense. Spirit is closely linked to ‘wind’ or ‘breath’ in Hebrew. So it makes sense that when the Living God is physically present in the garden, in some sort of visible, even material shape, He would be accompanied by a ‘breeze.’
Jesus breathes on His disciples before He ascends to Heaven to fill them with the very Holy Spirit of God, of Himself. And that breath continues to permeate the Christ followers to this very day and always will.
The thing about a breeze is that we can’t see it, though we can see its effects. Jesus even shares that observation in Scripture. (See John 3:8) And so we are back to the ‘unseen,’ the invisible I talked about in my last blog entry on beauty in the ‘unseen parts’ of us. The breeze in the Garden, the Holy Spirit, didn’t have to be very strong or intimidating because Adam and Eve had not transgressed against their Creator’s directive at this point. Although, in the scene where the breezy time of day is described, they have already eaten from the forbidden tree, but God has not spoken to them about this yet.
When the Holy Spirit comes upon all the disciples and the Blessed Mother and many others at Pentecost, it is a “violent wind,” or a “mighty wind,” depending on the translation. The Lord goes from a gentle breeze at the beginning of salvation history to a downright scary wind at the beginning of the Church’s mission. We need it! God has to get our attention somehow and to move us out of our complacency or even stupor, morally speaking.
The mighty wind is for the benefit of those who experience this rebirth in their own souls, as well as for the benefit of the audience observing the spectacle, that they might believe. We can’t see the wind, but in this instance the effects that are witnessed are the sounds the rushing, roaring Spirit makes as well as the disciples, 120 of them, beginning to speak other languages and to prophesy. Eventually, in the healing of the sick and the raising of the dead, among other wonders and signs. It’s the Holy Spirit inside of them that causes these amazing feats to be performed. Just as it was for Jesus, just as it can be for us.
That same Spirit dwells in you if you have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. For those of us of the Catholic persuasion, our Confirmation brings us to a new level of understanding of the Spirit within us, an additional grace, and it brings a new appreciation for what the Holy Spirit can do with our consent and desire, as we allow that Spirit in, freely and with an abandon and surrender that to the world seems like losing oneself. But it is actually finding out who we are truly meant to be. God is all about our cooperation with Him in the work He has for us to do.
He won’t ever force Himself upon us. God waits for our assent, our yes, our fiat! Just as He did with the Blessed Mother Mary at the Angel’s announcement that she has been chosen to carry and bear the Son into the world, the lost, dark, confused, broken world. God awaits our openness to do amazing things still. What a privilege it is for us to be the vessel or instrument, or avenue, depending on the situation, God will use to work His will. He awaits our words, “Your will be done,” or “be it done to me according to Your Word.”
Don’t hesitate, don’t fear, don’t worry. Just acquiesce and be grateful. I say these words to you even as I listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to me at the same time. Thanks be to God for this life that allows me the opportunity to be a part of the Mission that God’s Beloved Son began. Trust in what God wants to do with our lives is crucial. Trust and certain hope are necessary ingredients. He’s given His promise; there is no need to doubt.
Breathe the Holy Spirit in and let out the doubt and fear. They have no place within. The breeze, the mighty wind, the breath of God only delights, only strengthens, only provides peace. Hands raised, palms open, deep breath…Let’s go!
Here’s a song called “Peace.” It’s awesome and perfect.