I was reading this morning about two famous writers and when they came to believe in God — “The hour I first believed.” C.S. Lewis says it happened after a conversation with J.R.R. Tolkien. He then got in a motorcycle side car and in his words – “When we set out I did not believe… and when I reached the zoo, I did. Anne Lamont’ describes after hearing Soren Kierkegaard’s interpretation of the Abraham and Issac story taking a “lurch” of faith — “I felt changed, and a little crazy.”
I can’t tell you when I first realized I believed. I certainly wasn’t blinded on the road to Damascus or on a moonlight drive to Evening Shade, Ar. I can’t describe my epiphany, what does it feel like, and what does one wear to one? Anne Lamont says it’s “ a stained and slightly buckled jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing, now there are a few border places in place.” It brought to mind the question Mike and I were asked when we taught Sunday school – “How exactly does the Holy Spirit work?”, I deferred to Mike.
This morning’s readings brought back the teenager’s question, and I’m not sure I could answer it any better today. But I’ll try. Imagine taking a walk on a gusty day. You can be walking along and all of a sudden a gust takes you by surprise. There are no visual clues or warning. Well, most of the time the Holy Spirit works through things we can touch and anticipate: the people in our lives and the natural world around us. But at other times, it takes us by surprise like a huge gust of wind. There is no warning, and we’re not even sure from what direction it came. It can be silent, invisible, and impossible to hold on to, but real nonetheless. But most importantly it has touched our lives, and we are no longer the same.