Flying on Wings of Wind: the Spirit of Hope

Hope: soaring on the wings of the wind

“Close your eyes and turn your face into the wind. Feel it sweep along your skin in an invisible ocean of exultation. Suddenly, you know you are alive.”

Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Spring Wind

Spring arrives riding on the back of wind here at the foot of the Rockies. Cold wind and spring snows come while I am longing for green and bloom. This year May arrives wrapped in a cold wind. I huddle away from its movement inside the warm walls of my house. My soul huddles too. I dry up while I hide from conflict and risk, boredom and disappointment.

Red-tailed hawks love the big cottonwoods that grow in the open space behind my house. They play on the wings of the wind instead of hiding from it. It carries them in spirals to dizzying heights. They tuck their wings, gleefully diving straight toward the ground, turning at the last second, letting the wind carry them up again.

When the wind finally settles into a gentle breeze I eagerly lace up walking shoes and greet May. The first thing I notice is the heavy perfume of trees dressed like they are going to senior prom. April’s bare tree branches wear new chartreuse leaves accented with brilliant white or fuchsia blossoms. The ground is a carpet of green.

Wind of the Spirit

Wind brings life in the Bible too. A single Hebrew word conveys wind, breath and spirit. Since he is as invisible as wind to human understanding, God uses both wind and breath to demonstrate the work of his Holy Spirit.

In the book of Ezekiel God, in the form of wind, breathes on dead bones and they come to life again. Ezekiel’s dry bones foreshadow the coming of the Holy Spirit who brings life from death, and hope from hopelessness.

Centuries after Ezekiel, believers gather in an upper room to wait for the Spirit. They hear a sound like a might rushing wind. The Holy Spirit settles on each of them. They left the room filled with fiery zeal, and powerful new life that both attracts and bewilders the crowd outside.

Why, I wonder, do I huddle indoors, sheltered from the wind of the Spirit? It is ridiculous, since my soul was created to soar on the wind, carried by him. Could I perfume the air around me with the aroma of Christ sweeter than cherry blossoms? Could I, like Ezekiel, speak to the breath of God and witness him bringing life where a moment before there was only hopelessness and death?

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