Psalm 118 (Morning)
Psalm 145 (Evening)
Although on Pentecost we tend to think more about the Holy Spirit revealing itself as many tongues of fire, in our Daily Office reading from Acts today, we see another manifestation of the Holy Spirit–prayer so powerful it causes the room to shake.
One thing’s for sure–the Holy Spirit is no shrinking violet.
Now, I can’t say I’ve ever been in a room where people were praying that I was ever privy to either tongues of fire or a seismic tremor, but last week I did get to be in a place of prayer that one can feel the walls shake–the bell tower of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. The largest bell there tips in at 5,732 pounds and is nicknamed Gussie, in honor of a former parishioner who lived to the ripe old age of 103.
I had the privilege of accompanying some friends from another church in my diocese on a pilgrimage to Christ Church Cathedral last week, and part of the visit was a trip up in the bell tower and the chance to ring the bells. Although I gave other people the chance to have a go at it first, I wasn’t about to leave without ringing Gussie. (When I was five years old, I got to blow the noon whistle in my hometown on my birthday, and I suppose the five year old that still lives inside of me couldn’t resist.)
As one of my friends joined in, and we were just getting the hang of the rhythm of pulling that big bell cord–and wouldn’t you know it, SHE let go. On the way down, I thought, “I wonder if this thing is gonna lift me off the ground?” I latched on with my best leftovers from swinging on ropes in high school gym class, and waited to see the answer.
Sure enough, Gussie pulled me about 2 feet into the air! I realized really fast what the attraction was for Quasimodo in the bell tower of Notre Dame. Being in the middle of all that vibration and noise, with the added bonus of being pulled skyward…well…it was downright exhilarating.
Suddenly, things like prayer so strong the room shook, didn’t seem so far-fetched, nor was that notion of the Holy Spirit taking you where it will.
When is a time the Holy Spirit shook your room, or even carried you off?
Maria Evans, a surgical pathologist from Kirksville, MO, writes about the obscurities of life, medicine, faith, and the Episcopal Church on her blog, Kirkepiscatoid