Daily thoughts on aesthetics and theology, and the entire world in between.

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The external and noisey wind of the Spirit

We usually think of the Holy Spirit as one who lives inside of us as Comforter. This is the truth, but not the whole truth.

Occasionally we feel anointed by the Holy Spirit to do a particular task. This is also the truth, but not the whole truth.

We rarely see the Holy Spirit as a wind in our external circumstances, blowing the chaff away so the wheat can be pure. This is also the truth.

It is turbulent being blown to and fro, up and down, by the wind. But the Wind's aim is to winnow away the chaff in our circumstances. This makes anything we go through worth living through. It makes sense of the troubles we face.

The process is also aesthetic, in that, if the Holy Spirit as Wind is blowing around us, then the turbulence we see is evidence of his presence. We see it all; that is the aesthetics of it. We feel it; that is the aesthetics of it. How can a wind blow and we not see its effects and feel it? What kind of wind is it that does not stir sight, sound, smell, touch, taste? A wind that cannot stir our senses may be only a wind in our theological imaginations.

We Protestants have particularly sophisticated theological imaginations when it comes to processing out the feel of the Wind. FEEL? Oh! We can’t have that! We would be in danger of becoming Pentecostal!

We have the Holy Spirit inside of us, but SHUSH! No movement, no sound, no taste, no smell, no wonder, no awe … but we sure know the Greek term for spirit. No wonder. We can parse the Greek, but we cannot see Him blowing the furniture around. Where are you Lord? Hold on, Lord, let me shut the door so that wind stops rattling it. Okay. Now where was I? Oh yes: Where are you Lord?

We seek shelter from that bothersome wind rattling the door. Make that wind stop, Lord, so I can pray! Now, come Holy Spirit …


John 3.8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Luke 3.16-17 ... but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.


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