Recently the readings after Easter included the one from the Gospel of John where Jesus tells Nicodemus that the “wind blows where it will,” cautioning him that he does not know where it comes from or where it goes. About that same time we were experiencing some blustery April winds, and I thought about how unpredictable they could be. These April winds were so strong they were blowing the buds from the top branches of the maple tree. They relocated bits of trash that all too often dot the roadside. They twisted the new growth on the clematis vine so that there was no way the tendrils could grasp the trellis. And they brought the cold from the north so that the furnace kept running just to keep the house warm.
Then a few days later, the winds were a soft breeze out of the south, carrying the promise of warmer weather. They barely touched the buds on the apple tree, teasing them to open to new promise. The day after that the air was still — not a single leaf stirred, and the tiniest blade of grass stood straight and tall.
Science can explain it all if one is curious. Yet there is a mystical sense as well, because even if we know why the wind blows, we cannot control it, make it stronger or softer. Harness it and its power, yes. Control it, no.
Thus, we use the wind as an allegory for the Holy Spirit. We witness the Spirit’s power in its effects, yet we cannot influence or control the Spirit of God. Sometimes the Spirit may need to knock off a chip on our shoulders or give us a less-than-pleasant wake-up call. At other times, the Spirit softens with comfort, support and encouragement. We can call on the Spirit, but the Spirit “blows where it will” and we need to be ready to accept and harness its power.
– Blog entry by Sister Joyce Lehman