As I write this I’m sitting outside in Lilongwe, Malawi. I write “November 18” in my journal, but it seems incongruous to think of cold gray skies and bare trees at home when it may reach 100 degrees in the afternoon here.
Now, at 6 a.m. though, it is tolerable and a breeze blows like it has continually since we arrived.
Sometimes gentle, sometimes with more confidence, the wind blows.
We receive news that the world seems to be crashing this week – chaotic, mean, angry, divisive. ISIS, racism, guns, immigrants without welcome…
And yet, in this tiny country that few can find on a map, the wind of God’s Spirit still blows.
We sit with people from around the world, joining hands and hearts with our hosts, who include some of the “least of these”.
We sit under a Baobab tree sharing stories, and the breeze whispers around us, and each time I am reminded that God’s spirit is still here, still at work and I think of another time the Wind was felt.
When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. Acts 2:1-4
I sit and feel the breeze under the trees as a thankful community dances and sings around a well of clean water that they helped build with World Vision, that they know how to fix, that has changed their life – from despair to joy, from sickness to health.
The wind whispers around us as I stand in the shade of a goat hutch and listen to a farmer and proud papa to five, talk about the small loans he has received – first for fertilizer, then for goats and cows, then to build a house. He’s worked hard and paid back, and sent his kids to school, and mentored others in his community. His littlest boy feeds the goats.
And we gather from around the world, holding hands and pray with grateful hearts.
The wind blows hard and whips up red dust as hundreds of noisy kids surround us – proud and thankful, excited to show us how they are learning to read with songs and games after a long day at school.
We see answered prayers in the smiles and brave story-telling of these kids. And the wind, a reminder of the breath of God swishes and swirls and continues to stir up new dreams for a better life.
So planes and guns and words may wreak havoc, but in small and inconspicuous places the breeze of God’s Spirit still blows. In slums in Mombai, on farms in Iowa, in refugee camps in Jordan, and mud huts in Africa God is still at work.
There is life. There is hope. We feel the breeze and breathe it deeply.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6
Today, whether you feel a hot sandy gust, or an icy blast of wind, or the softest touch of a sea breeze, may you breathe deep and be reminded that God is not finished yet.