God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blow Where You Will

During Lent one of my favorite movies to watch is, Chocolat.  One of the main characters in this movie is not a person, but the wind. At the beginning of the movie, a sly north wind blows Vianne a chocolatier into a small French village.
Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in Tranquilité - So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North...
The wind blows Vianne and her daughter from town to town as it has blown her mother’s family from place to place back through the centuries. Her people are the wanderers, people who moved from village to village dispensing ancient remedies and never settling down. This wind has guided her life to the people and places she is supposed to bring both chocolate and healing. She is fated to travel with the north wind. Throughout the movie when the wind blows something happens or something will be changing. At the darkest point in the film, when Vianne’s new love had been burned out of town, her closest friend has died, and the town priest has blamed her for the death in the Eulogy; Vianne feels the wind and decides to listen and move onto the next town. I was struck this time by this character the wind. As Easter dawns, we enter the season leading up to Pentecost a time when the Spirit once again comes with a rush to send us out into the world. In the Gospel of John, we read
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:8
In this story Nicodemus, a Pharisee, questions Jesus about the signs he has performed. And Jesus speaks about the Spirit, the Wind of God, and what it means to be part of the kingdom of God by having to be born from above through baptism by water and Spirit. But what if we were to read this text against the grain and focus on the discipleship component. This raises a number of interesting possibilities for our life of faith. If the Spirit blows where it wills, that means that we can never be sure when the Spirit is present in the people we encounter and the situations we find ourselves in. We would need to start opening ourselves up to an awareness of how God may be acting in the people we are encountering. If God is present what would we then be called to say and do as followers of Jesus? Would we act differently, speak differently, because we knew that God is at work in the situation?

What if during this month of May when the spring winds blow: you were to take a day, an afternoon, an hour and allow the wind to blow you? What if you asked God to use you this day, to guide you to a person who needs a word of hope, who needs a sympathetic ear, who needs to be confronted with truth? Would your life be changed by the movement of the Spirit as your guide?
But still the clever north wind was not satisfied. The wind spoke to Vianne of towns yet to be visited, friends in need yet to be discovered, battles yet to be fought... By someone else, next time… And so it was that the north wind grew weary and went on its way and when summer came a new breeze from the south, blew soft and warm…
May God’s Spirit blow through you calling and stirring you to new places and people,
 
Spirit of God in the clear running water
Blowing to greatness the trees on the hill.
Spirit of God in the finger of morning:
Fill the earth, bring it to birth,
And blow where you will.
Blow, blow, blow till I be

But the breath of the Spirit blowing in me.
Down in the meadow the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pastureland cannot lie still.
Spirit of God, creation is groaning:
Fill the earth, bring it to birth,
And blow where you will.
Blow, blow, blow till I be

But the breath of the Spirit blowing in me.
I saw the scar of a year that lay dying
Heard the lament of a lone whippoorwill.
Spirit of God, see that cloud crying:
Fill the earth, bring it to birth,
And blow where you will.
Blow, blow, blow till I be

But the breath of the Spirit blowing in me.
Spirit of God every man's heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God, man longs that you only
Fulfill the earth, bring it to birth,
And blow where you will.
Blow, blow, blow till I be
But the breath of the Spirit blowing in me.
                              Miriam Therese

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