Make a home for the Spirit
“Through desire, intention and open hearts, we can make a home for the Spirit of God.”
The Spirit of God is mysterious, often less than tangible and believable, yet certain experiences, people and stories witness unmistakably to the powerful presence of God’s Spirit. Saint Paul poses this question: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
The truth is that we don’t realize this incredible, mind-boggling reality everyday. Spirit is the life-giving principle, the movement of divine energy that is always within us and around us. There is no time in the 13.7 billion years of the unfolding of the universe that the Spirit has been absent. The psalmist asks, "Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). And the answer is nowhere, nowhere, nowhere.
For the Divine Guest to deeply affect our lives, we must offer hospitality. We need to awaken to, listen to, be moved by the Spirit who lives in and around us. Through desire, intention and open hearts, we can make a home for the Spirit of God.
The Spirit’s work in the world
One thing that can awaken us to the Spirit’s work in the world is a story of God’s touch and a generous human response. Such stories startle us into awareness of the consoling and transforming presence of the Spirit. Two such stories that I want to share hold power that can take your breath away. One that may be familiar to you is the Pentecost story. The other is the story of Dominique Green, shared by Thomas Cahill in A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green
In the scriptural story (Acts 2:1-4), the apostles and friends were huddled in one room very much afraid and despondent. They seemed anything but aware that the Spirit of God was alive within and among them. Fear blocked their awareness. For Love Divine to wake them up, something remarkable was needed. A large noise like a driving wind filled the house, and tongues of fire rested on the apostles and friends. “Here I am,” announced the Spirit. Fear was healed; passion was engendered; courage was reborn. The apostles and friends could no longer keep to themselves what they had witnessed in Jesus. What an amazing story of being shaken into awareness! What happened then happens today in new and equally wondrous ways.
At age 18 Dominique Green was convicted of murder. At age 30 he was executed by the State of Texas. For twelve years he and his friends and advocates fought his seemingly unjust conviction. For twelve years this boy from a terrible home life grew into a man who studied, prayed, created community, learned to love and who became radiant with Spirit energy. He created a “rosary” that had 101 beads: each bead represented a friend, mentor or guide who had died on death row and left Dominique “their knowledge and wisdom to touch other lives.” This boy with no hope and no promise made a home for the Spirit in himself and on death row. Dominique’s final words were a thousand thank yous spoken name by name with love—each name a gift of the Spirit to this saint on death row.
In the presence of God
Desmond Tutu, a bishop of Cape Town, South Africa, visited Dominique and said, “I was very humbled to be in his presence because I felt I was in the presence of God…. He’s like a flower opening and you can see the petals come up, particularly when you see him speaking about his concerns for others.” On October 26, 2004, Dominique entered his lasting home with the Spirit.
Broken human spirits—repaired.
Troubled human spirits—transformed.
Despondent human spirits—renewed.
Sad human spirits—become exuberant, joyful, and thankful.
This, the work of the gracious and ever present Spirit of God.
What would the world be like if all people acted with awareness that each of us is a “temple of God’s Spirit,” a living home of the sacred Spirit of God?
You are that living home all days. You are amazing grace. You are Pentecost.
In what ways are you aware of the Spirit in your life? Share your thoughts by clicking on Contact Us
Thursday, May, 14, 2009