Today’s ornament is an image of balloons. In her reflection Zimmerman tells the children, “on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, God sent his Holy Spirit to his people with a sound like a rushing wind.” She encourages the children to blow up a balloon and tape it to the ornament. She then notes, “In the coming weeks you will probably notice the balloon becoming smaller as the wind escapes. As this happens, think of God’s Holy Spirit moving through you…”
This is a clever way to picture the Holy Spirit. He is inside of us, around us, a vital person of our triune God.
As I have gotten older my understanding of the Holy Spirit has changed. I no longer think of him as a benign presence just flowing around me. In fact, my image of him is ever changing as I find this Spirit working in ways I had never expected.
I picture the Holy Spirit as a wild, edgy being. He often brings chaos, before understanding (think of his first visit to the Upper Room!). If I am praying and directly ask the Holy Spirit for help, I am often surprised by the thoughts that come to mind afterwards. He is like that cagey older uncle of yours, you never know what he is going to say or ask you to do!
Some folks claim that the Holy Spirit gives them peace, but I find the peace of God a long time coming when the Holy Spirit is involved. Instead, I feel the fires of new inspiration, a drive to move in a new direction, or a surprising answer to a question I have been considering.
I feel lit up on the inside and unsettled to a great degree.
If I move, however, in the direction the Spirit prompts, I almost always feel like I am doing the right thing. Even if detractors or naysayers’ words tempt my thoughts, I simply know that this is what I should be doing!
Try with me, this Advent, to invoke the Holy Spirit. Ask him to intervene and show you the way. I am sure you have an area of your life (as I most certainly do) where you could use some direction.
Let’s invite that cagey Uncle in and ask him to breathe some life into our tired selves. Help us to open our hearts to His renewing energy!
Come Holy Spirit, come!