Acts 1:8 (NIV)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Today’s Holy Spirit Story comes from Kristine Crumb. It rings so true to the journey of awakening we have been walking together for these past several weeks. Pay particular attention to the first paragraph as it tells such a common story among us today. And the poetry she closes with (signifying the response of God in italics) carries a depth belying its simple form. Here it is in her own words.
My story of awakening begins with discontentment. The Christian life was wearing me out with my striving to do what I thought God wanted. “Where is the love, joy, and peace promised in scripture?” My fruit was plastic and took a lot of effort to keep in place.
An awareness of weeds in neighborhood flowerbeds got me interacting with God as Master Gardener. I would want to pull weeds in a stranger’s garden, and God would remind me I had my own soil to till. When I would pull on a weed, the root often remained in the ground. I was becoming aware of the roots of resentment and judgement in my own life. As I saw the benefit of loosening the soil and slowly pulling on the weed, I recognized how reading Scripture was having the same effect in my own heart.
Attention to weeds led me to offer to weed the flowerbeds of an institution one summer. “Why don’t you offer?” was the whisper to my heart this time. As I stepped into taking action with no expectation of a return, I was being nudged out of my comfort zone. My compartmentalized life of church, family, and work was being challenged. Suddenly I was discovering God with me as I weeded and had conversation with strangers walking by. My eyes were being opened.
Attunement to God’s whispers as I got more deeply into regular Scripture reading got me walking a paper route in the early mornings. I thought I was doing it to help my kids, but as they left home and I continued, God kept showing up. I would find myself rushing home to record some insight or thought before leaving for work. Poetry became an avenue of expression that felt playful and fun. I even started writing little songs.
The idea of playing games with God came as a download. Hide and Seek is looking for God in my ordinary day. Scavenger Hunt is finding a nugget of truth in God’s word as shiny treasure. Touch Tag is taking action to move towards others with something my heart is being touched to do. Playing Telephone is the idea of whispers and nudges being God actually speaking directly to my heart. Follow the Leader has been the deeper game of going wherever he leads me. This interconnectedness is still amazing me as I live it out and teach others.
Living playfully is how I now describe abandonment or surrender. It’s playing these simple childhood games with Creator God himself, who desires and delights when I want to turn toward and engage with him. Sometimes I just rest in him and feel his love and delight in me as his beloved daughter. I thought I was searching for him as I dug in the soil and walked outside each morning, but it turns out he has always been searching for me.
Follow me as I meander
Pursue as I often get lost
Pursue me, no matter the cost
I follow wherever you wander
Pursuing, you’re not really lost
Pursuing, despite any cost
Help me, I’m tired and I’m lonely
Please carry, I can’t by myself
Oh help me, I’ve just had enough
I help for I never will leave you
I carry, you’re not by yourself
I help you, I’m always enough
Lift me, I want to be closer
Hug me, there is need for your touch
Just lift me, I love you so much
I lift you to be so much closer
I hug you, surrounding with love
I give you my joy from above.
I love you with all of my heart
Wake up, sleeper! We always find God was already pursuing us, helping us, lifting us, before we ever even asked. We love because God first loved us. This is the very bedrock truth of awakening.
Father Farmer God, thank you for Kristine and the way she has confessed her holy discontent and the myriad ways you have and continue to meet her on the journey into deep awakening. Thank you for showing us this path and encouraging us to walk it together. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.
What rings true and resonates with you in today’s story? Have you gotten in touch with your holy discontent yet?
Today’s hymn is #504, “Softly and Tenderly” from Our Great Redeemer’s Praise.
For the Awakening,
P.S. Holy Spirit Stories Welcome
I would love it if you would send a story of faith from your life we might use on a Saturday in the future. We will be glad to attach your name or a pseudonym or anonymity—it’s up to you. It can be a story of coming to faith, a story of transformation, a story of healing, deliverance, suffering and sufficient grace, family reconciliation, prodigal returns, answered prayer, and so forth. Word count of 500–800 words works well. We can’t guarantee publication, but assure you of our prayerful discernment. You can reply to this email with your story and it will come to me.