How many different names we have for the Holy Spirit: the Advocate, the Holy Ghost, the Breath of God, the Paraclete. These name but a few, and as we celebrated Pentecost this past weekend, I sat with the image of the Holy Spirit and tried to pinpoint just exactly how it is that I understand this Third Person of the Trinity. I sat praying yesterday morning in our small chapel during a Eucharistic Holy Hour, and since the windows happened to be open, the wind chimes outside occasionally offered their gentle reminders of a light summer breeze gracing the morning. It occurred to me that those wind chimes and the song they sing are the perfect illustration of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life.
When I pray to God, speaking my heart and listening for the beating of his, it is sometimes easy to wonder if I’m just talking to myself or if my imagination isn’t creating the “insights” I would like to attribute to the Divine Being. Those temptations of doubt and skepticism can easily lead to discouragement, distrust, even depression. But then, the gentle sound of those chimes wafts through the air, reminding me that “the wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going,” and just so it is with the movements of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:8) There may be no explanation, no predictability, no scientific rendering of the pulses of that wind, but those chimes wait in readiness to “catch it” when it comes through and ring out their conviction that “Yes, he is here! Yes, he is real!” And although he may be gone by the time I notice his presence, I can never doubt that his presence is real…for music of that presence continues to echo through my ears, even long after the last note has sounded.