A Pentecost reflection
One of the joys of being with children is tapping into some of the foundational birthrights that make us human. Children, up to a certain age, don’t have all the defenses and walls erected around them. Their birthright is still intact. They love and care. They play and meditate. Children live in the now and know how to forgive.
The picture in this post is of Liam when we visited the fire station for a birthday party. Our kids are at the age now where these parties come with regularity. Liam loved and feared the firemen and their toys. He was scared and excited.
Liam loves life and understands that in order to live it one needs energy. His word for it is power. “Dad, I need a power to do this.” Liam has running powers, climbing powers, seeing powers and all-that-you-can-think-of powers. He knows he can’t live into his dream-realities without his powers.
Today, as we celebrated Pentecost, I thought of Liam and his understanding of the need for power in order to live into his imagination. The prophet Joel famously saw that,
“In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams.”
Pentecost marks the time when God’s Spirit opens the Liam-kind-of-life for old people, again. For they (we) had imagination and dreams once and lost it. Pentecost also marks the time wherein we are reminded that we will receive “power from on high”. They (we) lost, “their power” – as Liam would say. Pentecost promises an (re)enabling. Because without God’s enabling and empowering our lives stay dry and the dessert without water – we grow old.
With the empowering we become part of the creative rhythms of God’s goodness. We can imagine as Jesus would teach us to pray, “on earth as it is in heaven”. It was Chesterton who wrote one of my favorite passages in all literature,
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity to make all daisies appear alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never grown tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite for infancy: for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”