Wonder of wonders, God’s Holy Spirit makes her home within us, in that messy place where we live. It might have been otherwise, of course. In God’s best wisdom, the Holy Spirit might have remained only near us or beside us. But God took a big risk with us, deciding that we should be filled with the Holy Spirit. It was the greatest gift we could have received, that indwelling of love and hope, light and peace.
No one describes this more eloquently than Bishop Steven Charleston.
Here the Spirit resides, here in this worn and weathered heart, living among the lesser virtues of being, the strong but ragged hope of many years. God does not dwell in distant mansions, far removed from the mud and grime of common life, but rather chooses to sleep beside us, on a bed of dreams in a lower realm, where sickness and struggle are noisy neighbors, and the new morning often brings both worry and wonder. Here is where the Spirit abides, here in this clay we call home.
“Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1:14)
A beautiful hymn text written by Thomas Troeger and published in 1994 speaks of the Holy Spirit within us.
Holy Spirit, Wind and Flame,
Move within our mortal frame.
Make our hearts an altar pyre.
Kindle them with your own fire.
Breathe and blow upon that blaze
till our lives, our deeds and ways
speak that tongue which every land
by your grace shall understand.
Spirit Wind has blown through my life and Spirit Fire has warmed my journey. Thanks be to God.