Unity through Spirit
Sandee Gamet, World Church Common Consent team, co-leader
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. -Acts 2:1-4
One description of the Holy Spirit’s “job” is to connect human hearts. This description has proven to be true over and over as I witness individuals who are deeply listening to another’s life experiences.
We listen to each other in two ways-with our heads and with our hearts. When we allow our hearts to be part of the listening, we hear and understand in ways not possible if we listen only with our heads.
I have seen individuals who have felt hurt by each other. Often they come to the conversation ready to protect themselves from further pain. In the midst of the safe space each person has been touched by the Holy Spirit to offer heart space in their listening. Each time I am reminded of the “job” of the Holy Spirit to change people from protecting themselves to being open to the other. Through the Spirit’s presence they have shared their pain, authentically acknowledged each other, and moved toward reconciliation.
I have been part of dialogue groups where diverse perspectives were present. In other kinds of discussions, different perspectives often lead to debate and attempts to discount differing viewpoints. Yet when the participants invite the Spirit to be present, they hear new information and gain a new view of those who hold differing perspectives. They often find ways to remain in community in the midst of those diverse perspectives.
Most recently at World Conference the topic of nonviolence came before the body. Sue Ann Allen and I facilitated two different discussion groups on the first Saturday of Conference. Although strong perspectives of support or opposition to the resolution were present, speakers risked sharing their thoughts because they sensed the security of the Spirit’s presence. Whether I am with one person or many, I intentionally remind myself how powerful the “job” of the Holy Spirit is.
In God we all belong.
Sustaining Our Connections
Many find themselves isolated around the world to protect each other and the most vulnerable during this global pandemic. Spend time prayerfully imagining those people that you might normally come into contact with on a regular basis, known and unknown. Remember all the connections that sustain our lives each day. Even in this time of intentional separation, how are you experiencing deep, intrinsic belonging in God?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.