You are in the doldrums.
It’s a quiet place, but restless.
For miles and miles, nothing moves. In fact, there is very little that could move. There is only the relentless bobbing of blue waves and you.
You paddle furiously in this salty ocean. Trying to move yourself. But nothing happens. You must wait for the wind.
It’s hot. You swear blisters form on your skin whenever you even think about going outside. You eat popsicles and ice cream for lunch and dinner. You guzzle water and visit air conditioned coffee shops.
The air is stale and thick. Pollution haze hangs like a gossamer curtain in the air around you. The shriveled leaves hang, suspended and still on their tree branches.
You turn your fans on their highest speeds. Every chair, every bed is positioned directly underneath them to catch the fullest effect.
But they are no substitute for true, cleansing, cooling wind.
When I was a little girl, friends and I were playing outside in a large field. The summer day was sunny and warm. Suddenly a breeze stirred through the trees and wrapped itself around us. Closing my eyes, I lifted my face to the sun and felt nothing but wind. It was as if the breeze were going through me. I felt it play with my eyelashes.
I thought about how in Acts God came to the disciples who were waiting for His presence. He came to them like a wind.
And I wondered if it weren’t God playing with my eyelashes just then, not the wind.
The wind is capricious, Jesus said. And so is the birth given by the Spirit. It comes and goes – from where you cannot tell and to where you do not know. You hear the sound of it, the rustle of soul and heart like leaves on tree branches.
When it’s with us, we are delighted. But then it deserts us, absconds without a warning or explanation. And we are left stranded in boats built to be caressed by the wind. We suffocate in air too thick to breathe. And we wonder where He has gone, our impulsive wind.
We wait and we sweat and we paddle to no effect.
Even a little breeze would do.
This is part of a series on the analogies of God in Scripture. Part one, introducing the series, is here.