Ever since I woke up this morning, I’ve been singing, “And the wind was low, and He brought me to the water…,” a Chuck Girard song I quoted last week when I was writing about the Spirit of God. I thought of this song again because this morning, the wind is low, whereas last night, when I went to sleep, the wind was howling. It was slamming doors and banging windows. It was tearing dead palm branches from trees and sending them flying. It completely blocked the main route in and out of town by downing a tree across the road, crushing a parked car.
I believe the wind also had some kind of influence on what turned out to be a rather heated exchange between Marti and Chandler and me. It was unsettling. Distracting. It made everything uneasy. It was hard to concentrate. It was unnerving. You wanted it to stop, but it kept on coming, and there was no escape.
Jesus didn’t talk about this kind of wind when He said the Spirit was like the wind. I think He was making a point about how we can’t control the Spirit just like we can’t control the wind. We don’t know where it is coming from or where it is going. But could He have also been making a point that the Spirit can at times be unsettling in our lives? God’s metaphors are usually true in more ways than one. Could He have meant that He just might rattle our doors and windows? That He could even drop a tree on our car if needs be, to get our attention? I don’t know of anything that would necessarily prevent Him from meaning this, too. God is sometimes loud in our lives. If He is, it’s for our ultimate benefit.
It sure suited us last night. The louder we got, the louder the wind got. Does this mean God is out to get us — to harm us in some way? No, but I do think it means God is somehow behind the difficult things in our lives. He’s not always peaceful and quiet.
Our conversation last night was not easy; nor is it over. It’s a part of life; it’s a part of the reconciliation we’re going through. We need not fear the turbulence, because it’s still the wind. It blows where it will, but it is His Spirit nonetheless, and the same wind that brought the storm will also blow it away, as it did this morning when I woke up, and the wind was low.
Nothing happens by accident. Nothing escapes His attention, even the tree that fell on a car last night in San Diego, killing the woman inside. Will anyone ever understand that? Will her family ever make sense of this? Probably not in our lifetime. But it was still the wind. And someday, we will understand how even this event, like our conversation last night, was somehow woven into the matrix of life, all connected to and connecting that woman and that event and our conversation with everything else going on in the universe, and we will go, “Wow. That was God, and that was amazing.”