Pentecost, 2017

Lord, save me from this rushing mighty wind
That beats me beyond belief — buffets, blows
The breath from me till I can’t walk, can hardly stand, just
Its confounding force opposes my progress, slows
My steps, outdoes my poise –
Checks, chokes me, hurts, thwarts, throws dust
In my eyes,
Defies my tries to move against its noise,
Exhausts my labored lungs with commands
My battered ears don’t understand.
Why does it paralyze,
Stifle, baffle me with fear
Till I can neither pray, praise, plead, nor hear
Your voice – if you’re speaking – through this solid wall
Of sound. Why must it slow my pace to a crawl, scramble all
My grumbling arguments, make my angry queries
Where is
The Comforter in this uproar of raucous jeers?
Where is the Paraclete in inarticulate taunts that cause these
Gust-stung eyes, these blast-wrung tears? Can they appease
It? He? You! – who smother me as I half-inhale,
In your soul-storming gale?
Feeble, unable even to
I’m helpless to hide,
Blown and bewildered by whirling Whitsuntide,
Dazed, overthrown and undone –
Too weak to resist
You, alarming Army of One,
Omnipotent Antagonist.
You are God-Who-is-Not-What-I-Thought.
Still self-seeking – not
I drop, kneel, know I’ve lost,
Perceive the surprising price of Pentecost:
Have met, in hostile guise, the Holy Ghost.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (Grove City, Ohio) – the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Cynthia Erlandson

Cynthia Erlandson has had poetry published in First Things, Modern Age, Anglican Theological Review, Touchstone, The Book of Common Praise (Reformed Episcopal Church Hymnal), and Forward in Christ. Her first book, a collection of poems for the Church year called These Holy Mysteries, is available on Amazon. The incarnation of the spiritual in the physical -- the gift of being able to know our Creator through His creation because we are made in His image -- is an important theme to her. As a Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist, she helps people with the physical side of life.

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