31 Days of Paying Attention — Day Twenty-Seven



Perhaps one of the reasons I am attracted to birds is that this bird is often used in Christian imagery: the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I like that. A lot. And when I read this lovely quote on my morning stroll at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center last month, I thought about this window in the chancel of our sanctuary.

When we built our worship center eleven years ago, our window designer had a tough time coming up with what he wanted (and what we wanted) for this small space. What he gave us, we love. It includes the colors of the liturgical year around the border, and a striking, almost art nouveau representation of the Spirit. Because the window faces east, we get the morning sun streaming through it when we are together in worship, and a beautiful rainbow of color is created at different times of the year, showing up in various spots throughout the sanctuary. I love it best when it lands directly on parishioners in about the third row of the center section. To me it is a stunning picture of the indwelling presence of the Spirit in the lives of believers and in the body communal. 

The question I want to always ask myself, and others who come to me for direction and listening, is this one: am I yielding to the sovereign direction of the Spirit of God as I live my life, day by day? This gentle Comforter of ours never leaves us, but the Dove is also patient to wait for us to invite that sovereign direction, never forcing us, only reminding us — if we pay attention to that still, small voice — that there is Power available to us whenever we submit ourselves to it.


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  1. That stained glass dove takes my breath away, Diana.. I would love to see the sunlight streaming through it, too, but I can imagine it. Blessings!

  2. Margie Bicknell says

    Holy Spirit, Come.
    The church we attended when we first moved up to the NW had a weekend contemplative prayer time, led by the associate pastor. I had the opportunity to attend, and found a renewed peace about the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life.
    The triune GOD is unfathomable, and yet, when I pray for healing, my voice lifts to God the Father. When I cry out for help in my daily worries, I turn to Jesus, who lived with the cares and woes we do. And when I need wisdom to say the right thing, bring the right feelings to a situation, need the right tone in a meeting, I pray, ‘Holy Spirit, come”. I breathe in and ask for the Wisdom of the triune GOD to fill me with the courage to trust that wisdom, and ‘come, fill me up, fill me up with your guidance, and let me be true to You’.
    Thank you for this beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit descending.