Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peace and the Paraclete

I happen to be a jump-for-joy type;
This isn't to everyone's taste.
Some people require a more peaceful approach;
They get tired of my version of grace.

My daughter calls it "buzzing";
My teachers thought me quite bad.
My grandmothers and mom thought me awful,
And said I was just like my dad.

It was actually my mother who
Had the attention span of a flea.
I'm afraid that she passed her
Hummingbird ways down to me.

I love to be with peaceful people,
But sometimes I just bust a gut,
Trying to hold in my passion
For staying out of a rut.

Rituals make my stomach feel jumpy,
My son said it quite well.
There are many well-churched people
Who think we're both on a path to hell.

I'm trying really hard to stay away
From those who I make itch,
But I sometimes have the feeling that
It's the Holy Spirit making me twitch.

Passion and Persuasion

I went with my daughter to hear a beloved former pastor speak on the subject of evangelism. It seems that many churches believe this is a teachable skill. I'm not sure that evangelism is possible without a personal passion burning so brightly that people are drawn to the flame. Those that walk the walk toward joyful Holiness will have others asking to hear the talk.

When Richard and I were in Costa Rica many years ago, the praying mantises would be so drawn to the candlelight on our dinner table that they would reach for it and burn their little "hands". When my grandson was about two years old, he spied the sun setting over the water, jumped off the couch, and as he was drawn like in a trance toward the sight, he said, "Granny, look at the big orange ball. Can I touch it?". With these words, he put out his adorable little fingers with full confidence that he could touch the sun. All life is drawn to the light.

Some people just glow with their glory in God, their joy in Jesus, their happiness in the Holy Spirit, their peace in The Paraclete. How can others resist this power of persuasion? The most blessed with the light are the most needed to walk into the valley of darkness to retrieve the lost. This former pastor seems to be one of these people.

I have had several of my most cherished people facing cancer in the last year. They were at peace while I was dying inside. When I asked how they could be at such a peaceful place in the face of death, they immediately and repeatedly proclaimed that their peace came from their faith in the lessons taught by Jesus. I have faith, but I'm still dying inside at the thought of losing them.

I guess I wouldn't worry so much about missing the faces, voices, hugs, smiles, and smells of my loved ones if I was the one going to God. And I sure hate knowing that they'll be so happy that they'll never miss me as a mere mortal. I am, however, thrilled that they're not adding their own fear to my mourning, and it all comes from a belief in the promise of the Eternal Spirit of Wholeness.

There's an old church song taught to children, "I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart..." Live it and they will come, and when they ask how you can be so joyful even in the face of death, be prepared with an answer straight from your heart about the source of your joy.