When the Wind shakes the tree

Over the holidays I found myself writing in a favorite café, when an older gentleman sat down across from me and wanted to chat. I stopped and we conversed. Topics ranged from the great religions of the world, to raising sons. He told me he had been reared in a mainline denomination, but now was studying Buddhism. Said it brought him a lot of peace. He was long winded, and I was feeling antsy to get back into my thoughts. But while John waxed eloquent, Another Voice was grabbing my attention. Earlier God had opened up a small window for me to share about my love for Him in relationship, but the thread was too thin to keep moving in that direction, or I thought. At a lull, I told John I needed to resume writing, and he nodded to let me continue. But then he interrupted me as soon as I had written the first word. That’s when the Spirit said, “Take off your head set, relax I’ve got something up my sleeve.” I looked up, smiled and obeyed.

“When you said you had an experience with God that changed your life, what did you mean?” I didn’t think I heard him right, but there is was, the evidence of the Spirit’s leading, and His authority to bring John from a smug wounded Deist, to an honest seeker. I spent the rest of our time together sharing my story and explaining the gospel message. It was thrilling to watch as the Spirit opened his spiritual senses, his eyes seemed to dance on each syllable I spoke, really intensely wanting to know how it could be that a wild haired hippie type found Jesus on a lonely highway in upstate New York.

The Spirit of God whispers in moments that steer the destiny of lives toward Him. He does that two ways simultaneously, by wooing other’s mind and heart, and by guiding our words and response. Unless we surrender to His nature and leading, really metabolize it from the Word, we can miss catching ripening apples when the Wind shakes the tree. Like I almost did! The secret is found in a robust dialogue with Him in the moments between casual chatter and spiritual initiative; the hinge moments that steer the conversation into deeper waters.

Every moment has a choice, each instance a chance to lean into God, and listen to His voice. Sometimes when we least expect it, and often during moments that test our patience, He will tell us to put down our expectation, and pick up on His revelation. That’s when the fun begins!

Who is this Presence
Coming like wind
Upon my sinful soul
Stealing away the gasps
Of Adam’s wretched lies,
And filling the canister
Removing fear’s disguise.
Holy One, Comforter
Strong Wind of God
Coming like breathe
Upon a new born church.
Holy Birth.
Lifting us into the Grace of love,
This blameless sacred most Holy Dove.

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