wind – noun, often attributive\ˈwind, archaic or poeticˈwīnd \

:  a natural movement of air of any velocity; especially
:  the earth’s air or the gas surrounding a planet in natural motion horizontally
:  an artificially produced movement of air
:  a force or agency that carries along or influences


The wind has been blowing us around for four days now.

On Sunday, we noticed the wind’s bluster when we rode our bikes with the boys down to the Milky Way for ice cream. In the section of the road with no houses and few trees on either side, we had to pedal hard even to go slow. Once we passed the park, though, the wind was blocked and we rode more easily.

Yesterday, when I drove past the big dump on the north side of town, plastic bags and paper circular flyers and fast food containers hung on to the fence rows just down wind. All of creation was hanging on tight, in fact, from the giant oak branches waving brand new buds to the low hanging evergreen bows sweeping the just green grass. A slack telephone line bounced in waves, like the sounds and voices traveling through its copper wires.

Even my car jerked hard against the rising gusts as I drove 70 miles per hour heading north to visit a friend who recently moved into a nursing home. For good. She is hanging on for dear life, too, I realized, as I watched her sitting in the circle playing bean bag toss. I was nearly swept up myself, barely recognizing her from my last visit a couple of months ago. The winds of time seem to have sped up.

See, it’s been windy, and we all are just hanging on. A son takes his life. A husband lies in a coma. A widow grieves. A marriage struggles. A man seeks meaning. A woman changes careers. Tornadoes strike. Words injure.

We have faith, but we fear being tossed by the winds of doubt. We believe, Jesus, help our unbelief.

I drove home from the nursing home with the winds gathering storms then disbursing them. With 18-wheelers weaving toward then away from me. With rain drops falling, then stopping. All the time, the wind was swirling and the atmosphere seemed volatile.

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Then, I saw the windmills: tall, anchored, steady. They were responding to the wind, but not overcome by it. They moved in the wind but were not moved by it. The spinning turbines reminded me that we never see the wind; we just feel its presence, harness its power. But never do we contain it.

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

It’s fearful stepping out into the wind, not knowing what will blow our way, wondering whether it will knock us down. But only when we let our hair blow and feel our knees bend a little can we experience the invisible power, the exhilarating presence that the wind has for us.

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Photo by Chrishna, via Flickr, used with permission under the Creative Commons License. v