My Pentecost

Pentecost is the day Christians celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. They were locked in an upper room, afraid, confused, despairing, without hope, full of doubts, and then when they least expected the Comforter arrived, with flames of fire, and they spoke in other tongues. And many people believed in Christ, and their lives were never the same. 

As I write this words I am in an upper room of the house I shared and build a life with my children and my husband.

I also know what its like to be afraid, confused, in despair, without hope, and filled with doubts. But unlike the apostles, in my upper room, there are no flames of fire, no speaking in other tongues, no one getting saved... only my life and my children's lives will never be the same.

I lost count of the times I asked God if He was there. I if He was listening, if He cared. 

"And you will receive Power when the Holy Spirit comes on you" 

I look out of my window and see the sun shining on a bright blue sky, the birds singing and the trees swaying gently in the crisp breeze of a stunning autumn morning. 

How can such beauty exist outside at the same time that such chaos and pain grips my heart, mind and soul?

I don't feel empowered. I feel destitute. 

This word 'power' is now a foreign concept to me. I used to think I knew what it meant, or what I wanted it to mean, but now that I struggle with this all consuming grief I don't know, don't understand what 'power' is. Maybe it's my definition of power that has been too fleeble, too limited. 

"In my weakeness He [God] is strong." I spoke those words so many times with great conviction, but now I struggle to understand what they actually mean.

And now I have to learn a new definition of power as also discover through this painful journey a different kind o f Pentecost. His presence, His comfort, His empowerment coming in subtle, unassuming ways.

Through my best friend, who prays for me because I cannot pray for myself most of the time. I let her words wash over me, like a soothing balm. She lets me cry in the safety of her loving friendship. 

My brother from another mother cooks french toast for breakfast, having come with his family from another city to be with me this weekend. He feeds me while his beautiful wife hugs me with such love and tenderness as if to impart some of her own strength into me.

Another friend comes over with a pt of soup, prepared to clean my bathroom, but spends the whole day just listening to me as I talk and talk, trying to make sense of things, needing to let my feelings come out or they may drive me crazy. She did more for me by listening than she would if she had cleaned my bathrooms a thousand times.

I cry in the shower once again remembering a song I sang so many times "Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Everything I have for Your Kindom's cause. Clean my heart and make it new. Open up my eyes to things unseen. As I walk from earth into eternity".

The eyes of my heart catch a glimpse of God being present, of God comforting me and empowering me through the mouths that pray for me, through the hands that feed me and the ears that hear me.

And I know that in my darkest and weakest hour, locked in my upper room as the sun shines outside, a new kind of Pentecost has arrived amidst my greastest suffering.

Tatiana Hotere