Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro’
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
– Christian Rossetti
The temperature certainly has dropped and we have had our first days of inside play due to the rain. While it is still technically Autumn, it is starting to feel very much like winter.
As I live close to the school, I love to take the 10 minute walk to school each morning. It gives me an opportunity to be outside and enjoy the forces of creation. On those rainy and windy days it does become a challenge to still choose to walk. However, often these days are the most rewarding. It is indeed a blessing to feel the wind and rain.
The Christian evangelist Billy Graham famously quoted the Rossetti poem above to discuss the work of God through the Spirit in our world. While we may not physically see God at work, his spirit is always working in our world. Just as we cannot see the wind itself and we can only see the effect of the wind on the world, so it is with God.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a Lutheran school principals retreat, and had cause to pause and consider what God was doing in my life right now. I couldn’t tell much about the present, but looking back over the past years I could clearly see the path God had placed me on in order for me to be where I am now.
I can recall many times when I didn’t understand what was happening or why things occurred the way they did. I couldn’t see the spirit working at the time, but now I can see how hundreds of seemingly insignificant and unrelated events and decisions ended up guiding me to Sunshine.
Often the best we can do in the storms of life is to place our hope in the surety of God’s love. As the reading set down for this week tells us “…hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” (Romans 8:24)
We may not know where the spirit is leading us or how rough the path ahead may be. While we may not feel or see God’s hand presently, hope tells us that behind all that we see there is indeed a loving God. It may not make much sense at the time, but the Spirit is indeed with us, helping us along our way.
So when the winds blow and the rains fall, may it remind us of the unseen hope we carry with us. Let it also call us to stand with, support and love our brothers and sisters who are caught in a storm and do not have this hope.