The H.S. and me

Today is Pentecost Sunday, a day when it seems appropriate to take a few minutes and think about the Holy Spirit.  If you are anything like me, though, that’s not such an easy thing to do.  For most of my life, the Holy Spirit has been the most maddeningly elusive and vague of the three members of the Trinity.

I suspect I’m not alone in this feeling. After all, Jesus became man and walked around this earth for a while, which makes him immediately accessible.  And God — okay, I’ll admit that the Creator is still pretty hard to wrap my head around, but I’ve come to know a lot more about God since becoming a mom (that’s a topic for the next book, by the way).   The Holy Spirit, though — well, that’s where things get tough.  For one thing, there are not a lot of Holy Spirit stories in the Bible.  When the H.S. does make an appearance, it’s in tongues of flame, or a gust of wind, or a dove in the sky.  Those things move pretty fast, and they are hard to pin down.

But since becoming a writer, those dynamic symbols have begun to make a lot more sense to me.   Increasingly, I think of the Holy Spirit as the force that hits you and fills you and gives you a kind of energy and efficacy for good that you wouldn’t otherwise have.   There’s a certain parallel to that wonderful thing that happens to writers, when something other than your conscious mind seems to be driving the article, and your writing suddenly has an energy and fire that catches you absolutely by surprise.   It’s like that, only bigger.

If I had to pin it down in one sentence, I’d say that the H.S. is operating anytime you find yourself being far more successful at spreading good news than you could ever have imagined yourself to be.  It’s like when you are talking to a friend who is going through a terrible time, and you have no idea what to say to her to lift her out of your pain, and you are  terribly worried about inadvertently saying the thing that makes it all worse — but then, in some wonderful and incandescent way, you end up sharing exactly the insight that she needs to hear in order to crack open her perspective and let in some light.  Those experiences have happened to me at various points in my life, and they always feel holy, as if I’m getting an affirmation that I’m not just flying solo here.  Those moments prove that I’ve got that wind/dove/flame darting inside me, giving me exactly what I need — or, to be more accurate, giving me exactly what others need from me.  That’s what this is really all about, after all.

Before I go, I want to share this great little video from It explains Pentecost in two minutes, and does a darn good job.  Even if you’re pretty clear on what the day means and why we celebrate it, it’s totally worth the time.

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