It would be an understatement to say human beings are unique. Being made in the image and likeness of God is no small thing. In fact, it’s everything!
In the book of Genesis, we hear the stories of creation. The writer talks of God’s breath as a mighty wind stirring up the waters. Then, light bursts into the scene where formless darkness was before. God speaks creation into being with the “Let there be…and there was” formula. This mighty wind, these spoken words, are images of the Holy Spirit at work.
It is not surprising then that when God made man, He breathed in him, filling the man with His life. We were made to hold God’s life within us (more on this in this week’s video). Then, after the Fall of Adam and Eve, we lost our connection. God still gave humans life, as He does all His creatures. But a light was dimmed, a door closed. We could no longer fully have access to that life-giving Spirit of God.
In our Gospel today, John tells us that Jesus breathed on the apostles and they received the Holy Spirit. The breath of the divine, the creative force that moves through the world, came to be at home once again in human beings. The very same Holy Spirit Jesus filled the apostles with is in each person who has received Baptism and Confirmation.
If you’ve been here for a while, you know I have a growing relationship with the Holy Spirit. It’s quite the ride, as I was sharing with my daughter. A few videos ago, I mentioned how I was feeling a tug to offer myself as a long term sub for one of the more challenging perpetual adoration slots – 1-2am. I sent that email with much trepidation, hoping to be politely declined. I’m sure you know where this is going. For the next month, I’m filling that spot.
This is a hugely busy time. As I type this, we just finished a marathon purge and cleaning overhaul of our house to prepare for sale pictures. Showings begin this weekend (your prayers for the swift sale of our home are greatly appreciated). We have to unpack what we stashed so that the actual packing for moving can happen. I have to remember where I put whose books, which closet the toothbrushes got to, answer repeated questions about the timing of it all, and not have McDonalds for dinner every night for the next few weeks. It’s overwhelming!
In the overwhelm, it’s so tempting to claim you don’t have time for God, for prayer, for quiet. And if you do take the time, then your brain is running in overdrive with lists of all the things you have to do once you’ve checked “God-time” off the list. Neither of these will fill you the grace you so desperately need.
I’ve only filled that 1-2am slot once so far, but let me tell you something. I was shocked at how little time I spent considering my lists, because I was focused on: 1. Staying awake, 2. How blissful my bed would be when I got home 3. The absolute delight complete stillness and quiet is.
I know this isn’t a hugely Godly list, but it was such a gentle reprieve for my overtaxed brain. I needed this. And I will continue to need this, weekly, during these next weeks. I hope that as it becomes more familiar, I will be able to turn my thoughts to somewhat loftier ones. For now, I am basking in the Holy Spirit’s goodness. He knows me better than I know myself and it was through following where He led that I found this oasis for my soul.