I show my students the Bible Project video on the Holy Spirit, and we did a review activity last week where they had to come up with the two most important things about the Holy Spirit that we learned in class. This class said, “The Holy Spirit is God’s personal presence,” and “ruach means wind.” Ruach (or ruakh) is the Hebrew word used for the Holy Spirit – and for wind and breath – in the Old Testament.

Today after church, Helen and I ate lunch in the wind at my bench, and then, very appropriately I believe, made art to celebrate Pentecost at our church display next Sunday. Pentecost is my favorite holiday. This year, our church is participating in a city wide event to celebrate, and we will have all kinds of visual and literary works of art relating to the Holy Spirit set up around the building. A couple of my poems with drawings by Tessa will be included already, and Helen is planning a large art display. As we left church, I mentioned that I had some old Bible dictionaries and commentaries that had been given to me, and we could make some drawings on certain pages relating to Holy Spirit topics.

With dishes and books holding down loose pages, we chatted a bit as well. Conversations with Helen always include the Holy Spirit, and I love that we had the wind to join us in creating these fun works of art. I told her a bit about some of the conversations at my bench this week, and I will have more friends invited tonight as I host a makeshift birthday celebration for an RA off duty. I love the table that has become such a safe place to sit and feel the breeze and know the Holy Spirit is at work in Kandern.

Friday night I accidentally hosted a moment for four seniors who came for dinner. We started affirmations, and it wasn’t long before all of them were choked up and some crying. I have no regrets, though, because I watched them all receive kind words from three of the people who know them best (plus me). I usually try to move on once we’ve finished kind words for the students, but this group wouldn’t let me get away without hearing kind words about me. I felt the wind around me as they spoke of how important my bench was to making students feel safe and how each of them had valued their relationship with me. I had a lot going on this week, but I wouldn’t trade any of it because I know the wind was blowing peacefully through every different thing. God’s personal presence showed up at my table to love on those girls, and I will continue to look for the fire, wind, and peace in conversations this week.

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