We Have This Spirit

I walked into worship this week with my emotions swirling. On Friday, there was another school shooting. These shootings cause me to be unable to breathe or even to string my thoughts together. This time, the shooting was in Texas. This time, it was in the high school in Santa Fe, Texas where our daughter served as a Speech Pathologist in the past few years. This time, it was the halls she walked, the students she knew and her colleagues that faced the unthinkable.

Our youngest son is going into the military. I am worrying in advance for his safety. On Friday, I realized I need to worry equally for my daughter, my middle son and my husband because they all work in schools. Could this really be our reality?

On edge about that, I was also aware of the tender time of year it is with graduations and school year milestones, recitals, programs and stress. I was feeling, as well, the weight of  people’s stories: difficult diagnoses, grief, job angst, aging parent woes, struggles with mental health and more.

I sat in the pew wondering how in the world we could even bear it all.

Then, the children’s sermon reminded me. The children were asked what special day it was right now. No one said anything about the royal wedding (although wasn’t that a refreshing reminder of the power of love and new life?) No one mentioned the Preakness or the weekend’s golf tournament. The kids didn’t mention end of school or graduations, reunions or recitals. After a bit of awkward silence, just one child said softly “It is Pentecost.”

How that child knew that I have no idea. I’m sure the majority of the adults gathered probably didn’t quite know that. It is, to me, one of the hardest to grasp of the Christian days. It is the day we celebrate the gift of God’s spirit sweeping in to empower, change and embolden the Christian movement.

It is our yearly reminder that we Christians have this resource, this Spirit that helps us bear all things. As spiritual people, we are called to see what is not visible. We are asked to receive our power. energy and coping skills from some part of God that is more like wind and flame than anything black and white. We are asked to live by, in and through something no one can even see.

It’s so flimsy and hard to grasp that I even sometimes forget and I have been an ordained Christian pastor almost 31 years now.

We have this spirit, this manifestation of God that is always with us. This spirit equips us to face the unbearable. This spirit gives us the courage, the voice to make changes where there is evil, injustice and pain. This spirit calls us forward in big, new and surprising ways.

If we were left on our own, I do not believe we could go on. I do not believe we could find hope. If we were left to our own resources, we would be lost/hosed/doomed.

But, thank God, we are not.

Once, I spoke at a very difficult funeral. I did not know what to say so I shared this:  “I told God, I cannot bear this. I cannot. And God whispered back, ‘You can’t bear it. It is too much. Just hold it up to my Light.'” That whisper was the Holy Spirit, our resource. Come, Holy Spirit. We cannot bear this world alone. Amen 

Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, mother of three, Mimosa to Keller and Pace and breast cancer survivor. This blog entry is written in memory of Lina Finau.
  

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8 thoughts on “We Have This Spirit

  1. Anne Rhoades

    Truth. One of my favorite memories of Lina was when the criminal escaped from the WalMart parking lot and was on the loose. I unknowingly went to Cannon to read that morning, not realizing the school was on lockdown. When I got there, I saw Lina and other parents standing outside the school. Her arms were crossed over her chest and it was clear that no criminal was going to get past Lina to harm a kid at Cannon that morning. She was fierce in the best way.

    Reply
  2. Edie Gillette

    Cindy, You Have Touched My Heart So Many Times!!!! Such a Blessing in My Life!!! I Sure do miss Seeing & Hearing Your Sermons & Lessons!!!!

    Reply
  3. Inger McManus

    AMEN and AMEN!!!!!!!!! Praising Him for WHO he is… not for what we see with our limited human vision. So grateful for the innocent total trust of babies… may we follow their example. Love you, Friend.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Reply
  4. Mary Diane

    Thank you for your words. A great reminder when we feel overwhelmed with not only our issues, but with problems ones we love are going through, to lean on Him.

    Reply
  5. LeAnne Mennings

    Thank you for once again being able to put in words what many of us thought this past week. Such a special Sunday in our churches and yet the
    sadness of more lives senselessly lost. Can’t imagine not having faith in times like these…..

    Reply

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