Even Here, He Rushes In

It was Pentecost. I slid into an empty pew, the last of the evening light filtering through the stained glass windows. Exhaustion tugged at my eyelids. It was nothing new—I’d been this tired for months, at least. But that night, I felt particularly worn out. Taking a few deep breaths, I willed my lungs to work as they were supposed to.

The service began, and I mustered the energy to pull myself to my feet at the right times, to follow along, to say the creeds and sing the hymns. We stood for the Gospel reading, the account of Pentecost. The sermon that followed was on the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and it’s been rattling around in my head ever since.

He loves to rush in.

The disciples were waiting, the Priest reminded us. They were scared and confused, and they certainly weren’t trying to conjure up some sort of spiritual display. Jesus had left. He’d promised a comforter, but they didn’t know what that meant. All they could do was what Jesus had told them to, so they gathered and prayed and waited.

It was then that the Holy Spirit showed up.

He loves to rush in.

The words lingered in the air as the Priest moved on.

Even here? I wondered.

I thought about the fear and confusion, about the places where it seemed like God was far away. He’d promised his presence, but then he’d up and left and I didn’t know what to do. Was that what the disciples felt? Sure, it was easy for Jesus to say that he was sending a comforter. He was the one who was leaving. But what about the ones he left behind? The ones who felt lost?

He loves to rush in.

Rush [ruhsh]: to appear, go, pass, etc., rapidly or suddenly.

It implies an element of surprise, something that’s out of our control. Even in the places that feel hopeless and confusing, he rushes in. Even when we are weary, he rushes in. Even when we feel alone, he rushes in. It’s who he is.  

He loves to rush in.

He’s the one with the audacity to barge into the places where we’ve declared that he is not present. He sets up camp there, doing the work that only he can, the work that we sometimes try to tell him that he can’t. He is not God under our control, but God who is wild and free.

God who rushes in and makes us wild and free.

All week, I think about it. 

Even here? I still wonder.

But I’m reminded.

He loves to rush in.

Even here.

Photo by Daniel X. O'Neil, Creative Commons