Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

An Aspen Moment, and Prayer That Heals the World

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

An Aspen Moment, and Prayer That Heals the World

Article excerpt

A Christian Science perspective.

I guess I'd always thought of wind as having a sound of its own, a sort of vague whooshing sound. Then, about a year ago, I was sitting on a boulder in the Rocky Mountains when I felt a crisp breeze brush across my face. As I drank in the panoramic view, the stillness, the grandeur, suddenly I was struck by the fact that what registered as "wind" was actually the sound of hundreds of aspen leaves brushing against one another - hundreds, maybe thousands, of individual, insignificant points of contact. Put them together and what you hear is wind.

Most days I move through countless interchanges with other people. One contact taken alone doesn't seem very significant. But what if there is a wind of sorts, blowing through our lives, bringing us, moment by moment, into graceful contact with one another? Jesus once compared wind to the Spirit of God: "You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next" (John 3:7, 8, Eugene Peterson, "The Message"). This Spirit, like a gentle breeze, moves thought, clearing away dust and clutter such as fear, resentment, and apathy, and stirring us to action. It brings us into contact - often gently, sometimes momentously - with the world around us.

As I listened to the wind blowing through those leaves, it occurred to me that each leaf is connected to the tree by a single, slender stem. Each moves independently, yet together they create a delicate or mighty rhythm that registers the presence of wind. And much like those leaves, the Spirit of God moves in our thoughts and hearts, and registers its presence in the world.

Jesus also said, "God is Spirit" (John 4:24, New King James Version). And because God, Spirit, is present everywhere, the influence of the Holy Spirit is universal. It is impartial. It is our honor and privilege to worship Spirit by acknowledging its presence. This acknowledgment is a simple yet powerful prayer that has the potential to bring so much help and healing to our world. …

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