Morning dawned again, familiar and akin to any other. Scorching rays of sunshine skittered across Jerusalem’s cobblestones, climbing up the walls and into our rooms. Tension crackled and anticipation grew as we rubbed shoulders. Awaiting the promise. Each one of us listening for a different sound, an announcement of the fulfillment. How would it come? When would it start?
A trumpet perhaps or an earthquake. Likely a battle cry or possibly the lament of mourning rising with the mists. Surely the noise would invoke power, calling us to the beginning of the final battle. It would come, and so we stayed together. Waiting.
In the suspense, my mind wandered back over the past few years. How to explain what it was like to live with Him? How to ever share the endless wisdom and guidance that He rained on us all? It does not seem possible to communicate the depth of wonder and love.
Spending the days with Him was to be in a place of paradox, a place unimaginable. There was danger, almost constantly at times, but also great peace. Anxiety never stood a chance. When the followers stopped fretting and fixing and instead focused on Him, the same peace would penetrate and fear would flee.
He was never lazy, never unwilling to stop, help or listen. Yet each time Jesus spoke to you there were no other souls on the earth that mattered. He had an incredible ability to be divided between all who needed Him, and yet remain undivided in His provision.
Each moment in His presence held a smidgen of the unpredictable. Jesus was ever challenging our prejudices, ever prompting us to examine motives and search for truth, always reminding us to look beyond and consider the other side. Even in the days after the crucifixion, the finality of death was obliterated and He overcame. And why were we shocked, given what we had seen while walking with Him? How could we have believed that the grave could hold Him?
And so we waited - eating our morning meal, tidying up, praying together. Busy in anticipation of the next surprise. Speculation was silent, as none wanted to appear foolish, but all knew He would deliver. We knew that power was necessary to continue His work, inadequate and weak as we all were. Even the most fruitful imagination could not have created what arrived then – chasing the morning down from heaven.
Instantly, the air was saturated with sound, gushing through windows and into the house as winds and waves would, with irrefutable force. Fear and uncertainty were unthinkable, and awe rose into each throat. Immediately, unavoidably, undeniably our world was changed.
A flash, a finger - similar to a flame – stretched out and embraced each person. How it felt was somewhat alien, yet strangely familiar. The same peace-filled danger that surrounded our Master now entered into my body, the warmth invigorating each limb for action yet still soothing mind and heart.
I can remember savoring the delicious taste in the air slowly and deeply. Sounds began to break through the receding gust, voices lifted in praise. Almost like trumpets. Some with the rumble of earthquakes. Others were wailing, tears cascading. Each of our reactions were unique, yet combined there was a strangely musical order.
How long did we bask together in the miracle? At some point we found ourselves in the street, the need to communicate our amazement irresistible. I spoke to any who passed, reaching out to some, calling to others. Later they would scoff and mock us, but then it did not matter - we had no fear and no hesitation, only urgency, an overriding compassion and a desire to shout out the wonders of God. Truly this was the power that the Master promised.
As quickly as it came, thankfully the power did not disappear with time. I have witnessed countless events where the Spirit has intervened, saturated and enveloped our lives and the lives of those around us. What glory! It is a different presence than that of Jesus the Christ, incomparable. Yet I am left with a similar flavor of awe and praise for the Father.
All of us changed that morning, in the blink of an eye. And the traveling, forceful power of the Holy Spirit has not stopped since then. I am gladly carried along with it.
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