I love thunderstorms, so I’ve been like a kid in a candy store over the last few weeks. It’s not to downplay the massive amounts of flash flooding, damage, dispersal that’s been happening all over Texas and Oklahoma. It’s not to play up the fact that we were in drought all over the state and now we’re mostly not. It’s not even to relativize this period of weather into “Won’t we be glad this happened in August!” or “Oh no, January is going to be super snowy!” I love thunderstorms, because I like to watch them come in.
I was a lifeguard for six years, and nothing was better on humid, hot days than to see storm clouds on the horizon grow larger. (Yes, Virginia, it is true—lifeguards are rooting for bad weather so they can get paid to do nothing.) I like when the wind feels almost horizontal, when the air seems to crackle, when the birds fall silent in a moment of respect and preparation before the first drops fall. I can’t always see the wind, but I know it’s there—with big, chaotic storms, the wind is impossible to miss.
Wind, or ruach, is what the Spirit of God is called through the Hebrew Bible. I like ruach, because it’s a feminine verb. I like ruach, because it also means breath. I like ruach, because it’s unavoidable.
Kathy’s sermon on Sunday got me thinking in a most constructive manner. Or, more appropriately, the Spirit of God might have whopped me upside the head and said, “Listen, chump!” With everything going on in the life of this church—and oh my heck is so much of it beautiful and passionate and honest and incredible and intentional—we need to spend some time with the Holy Spirit. I don’t think we can escape Her, nor do I think we’ll want to. And I hope you’ll start listening for Her, as she sings before the storms; I hope you’ll start looking for Her, as she dips her wings in the water ever so gently; I hope you’ll start tasting Her, in the wine and the bread that’s more than the wine and the bread. We’ll talk more about it Sunday—I look forward to seeing you then.
Oh, wait! What am I talking about?! We’ll talk about it Sunday, certainly, but I hope I’ll see you on Saturday for Kathy’s ordination. Don’t miss it—it will be incredible! 10:30 a.m.—if you’re willing to greet, please let me know.