The Rush of a Violent Wind

We had a wonderful outdoor worship on Pentecost Sunday.  Granted, not everything was perfect.  But then again, when is that the case?

I focused on the second verse of the second chapter of Acts, concentrating on the phrase, “Suddenly there was a sound, like the rush of a violent wind.”
The wind was very cooperative, blowing as if on cue almost each and every time I uttered the phrase.  You couldn’t have scripted things any better.

It seems that in years past I have always been most attentive to the “tongues of fire” aspect of the text and the fact that it was lowly Galilean disciples speaking in other languages.  Perhaps this was due to having served an immigrant Latino congregation for nearly a decade.

Those who served at Pentecost

However this year the wind image resonated with me more.  In fact it almost leaped out of the page.  Possibly this had to do with the inordinate frequency of tornadoes that this nation has experienced this year.  But whatever the reason, I bore in on that theme and how inconvenient things are sometimes when things don’t go as expected.  That has
been the story of my week.


I’ve been struggling with a number of issues:  battling Strep Throat, the death of a close family friend, having to prepare for another musician search, and an overall general malaise that seems to creep into my psyche whenever I have a lot on my plate.  I
question myself, my effectiveness in ministry, and keep wondering what God is
trying to teach me throughout all this.

Whether listening to God or listening for God, discernment has always been a complicatedly difficult task for me.  The light bulb doesn’t turn on so quickly as it apparently does for others.  The “sound like the rush of a violent wind” doesn’t manifest itself as the leading of the Holy Spirit in me.  It is simply a sound, and an uncomfortable one at that.  I’m usually better after the fact, figuring things out on the back end of an experience and finding myself wishing I had been better skilled at analyzing the situation beforehand.

All I can pray is, Come, Holy Spirit!  Enter into my life.  Help me become a better servant, seeking to do your will.

Published by pastorallende

Retired Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Social justice and immigration reform advocate. Micah 6:8. Fluent in English and Spanish. I enjoy music and sports.

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