During this time between the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost, we might think of what it was like for the apostles who were gathered, tradition tells us, in a place that must have been like a suspension between breathing in and breathing out. They had experienced the loss of Jesus (twice, really – once at his physical death and now as his resurrected self left this planet) and were waiting for what Christ had promised, the Spirit who was to remain with them, guiding all that they were to accomplish. They were used to being confused by things that Jesus had said and they had certainly been on a rollercoaster ride since the events of his trial, crucifixion, resurrection and his recent departure. Probably the only thing that gave them comfort during these days was the fact that they were together, sharing their common memory, their belief in Jesus and their hope in what he had said to them as well as their lack of understanding of what they were to do now. Jesus had told them it was their turn to “light up the world” but they were still unclear about how that was to happen. So they waited and prayed.
This past weekend we had an extraordinary group of women here at our retreat center – a small group of seven not counting presenters. They are serious seekers who are dedicated to their spiritual growth. My turn at sharing with them was yesterday morning and it was an extraordinary time of grace for me. The energy of love and willingness created an openness that allowed me to think more of them than of myself – not concerned for what I was presenting but rather for what they were hearing – so that we would all leave with tools for the transformation, not just of ourselves but for that part of the world that is ours to influence. Most likely the change won’t come with the sound of trumpets but rather will emerge from the silence of our hearts – a silence in which we know that love is the answer, the only one that can save the world.
So as we wait this week for the great feast of Pentecost my prayer is for all those who are praying for direction or for the courage of their convictions or for trust or willingness, that we all may be able to emerge from our quiet spaces to stand in the marketplace being the change we wish to see in the world.