Pentecost Coming


Sunday is Pentecost, which means the Easter Season is coming to a close. From Advent to Christmas to Lent to Easter to Pentecost. Time takes on a different feel when these seasons are in the front of your mind. The Easter season has been diverse and rich. I’ve felt reborn and completely lost within the space of days, and yet overall, the rebirth theme is the stronger of the two. In fact, the lost moments feel like the old man trying to reassert himself, with all the petty ambitions that have been so debilitating. Writing has been less than stellar since Easter, although the excursion to Willow was certainly worth doing. Since returning from Chicago, my thoughts have been hard to corral. It makes me wonder about the visual aspect of what’s happening in my creative life. I’m obsessessing over all the photographs, taking a hundred or more a day, just watching, paying attention, and yet not really musing or brooding over the images. Many of them astonish me, and sometimes I capture things I didn’t mean to capture, thinking I’m taking a shot of one bird and later discovering there were actually two or three in the shot.

Why am I not brooding more over the meaning of these photos? Maybe the presence of whatever I’m looking at is just so…there. When beauty is so palpable, what is the need for explanation? I have seen so many buds and blooms in their various stages this Spring that I can say without a doubt that such things are pure mysteries. I know there are logical explanations having to do with the sun and rain and zoology and all that, but the process of a flower unleashing itself one little spot in the world is a miracle of the highest order.

On the other hand, I miss the brooding. Maybe there’s something here about the relationship of the mind to the senses. Maybe its hard for the mind to think deeply and clearly, as in meditation and reflection and prayer, when the senses are flooded with pleasure and wonder. But that doesn’t sound right. Doesn’t feel right. The assumption behind that is that rationality is the deeper, sensation the lesser. Yet sensation is the beginning place, the place of contact with the world. We deem it horrible when a sensing function is lost. But at the same time we see it as a greater tragedy to lose our minds than to lose our sight or hearing or both. To lose the mind is to lose ourselves.

Ah, that’s better. Brooding again. I’m kidding, mostly.

So what about Pentecost? Did the disciples know what was coming? John records in the book of John that Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on the disciples before Pentecost, and yet power did not come to them until that day. And what power it was. Power to change the world.

I’d like power like that. I don’t need power to change the whole world. I just need power to walk through the day being obedient to God’s call in this moment. Will something new happen this Pentecost because I’m aware of its coming? My hunch is that God will come when He will come, but who knows but that He is encouraged by a watchful son or daughter?

Watching for fire…

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