Tonight, I’m drinking cherry whiskey mixed with coconut rum.
Yesterday, I thought that it wasn’t worth people knowing that I drank a beer before noon to actually do it.
A couple weeks ago there was a Catechist training session (week long, 45 hours) for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The week prior the training start date, the whole thing got plopped on my lap to ensure its survival and execution.
If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit having such a hand in this, there is no way it would have worked out. Consequently, though, my work load went from organising childcare for participants to doing that as well as organising facilities, making and serving the lunches, running the errands, and managing the registration and budget.
There was a little of Teresa of Ávila that came out that week, who once said, “Dear Lord, if this is how you treat your friends, it is no wonder you have so few!” as she nearly lost footing in a deep river on the way to visit one of her monasteries.
Trusting the Holy Spirit is no easy task. Especially when the budget portion is not solidified until the training week is finished. I’m not sure how many times in my life I’ve had moments where my attitude was, ‘Well, God, this is your doing, so you’d better figure this out,’ but this one has certainly taken the cake. It’s a weird combination of stress over the working-it-out and yet also a trust, knowing God’s hand in it meant that it was going to have success. I certainly wasn’t the cause of the success; I just managed to stay out of the way of the Spirit enough to allow the work to be done, while doing my own part.
I do feel like I witnessed miracles. Not Miracle on 34th Street or I was dying and God healed me fully type miracles. More the I never thought that would work out as smoothly as it did, God type miracles, the Wow, God, you totally changed that person’s heart about this financial need type miracle. Also, I can’t believe I caught my math error and discovered we’re not $1000 over-budget type miracles. Let me just say, I’m not a math person. I never will be.
Revenge of the Cats
Following this harrowing experience, we discovered our friends were in a very bad place, having to evict a tenant from their property who had eight bloody cats (unbeknown to them) and were desperately in need of help to clean up after this mess (oh! the smell! Ten showers won’t be enough!) so that they could acquire a property management company to take over the rentals. So Andy took a day off and we went and we scrubbed. And scrubbed. And threw things out. And washed all the darned cat hair out of the darned fridge (amongst other things). And scrubbed.
Prompted by the Spirit, whose empathy and compassion know no bounds, our lives are shaped by the way we pour out ourselves for others. Not without boundaries. And not from an empty cup. Maybe we didn’t realise it, but our own cups were full enough to be able to overflow into others’ empty cups. Replenishing, giving drink, being balm. I wouldn’t have offered if God hadn’t nudged me. If I hadn’t responded, I wouldn’t have known how full my own cup was, and that, surprisingly, I could pour out for others. But, it’s no easy task.
This doesn’t mean I’ve got everything under control. Rather, there’s a wildness that runs through it all. I can’t contain the Spirit, who moves wherever she wills. To my untrained experience, it feels wild, out of control, even dangerous. But I do trust that God knows what he’s doing, even if it feels like I can’t always contain or direct it.
Neither does it mean that I am always so aware of the Spirit’s movements, or that I respond even half as well as I should. I am not a perfect vessel, and I have many cracks and breaks. I admit I’m surprised when I feel I can sense the Spirit’s movements clearly at all.
Pentecost is coming soon. An abundant outpouring of the Spirit. Fire, wild and playful, taking shape over us and inflaming us.