Despair and depression drove to me to walk along familiar paths, across the river and into the woods of the Greenway. It was noontime; the sun beat down. The shadows did not reach the path, so there was no shade anywhere. My anxieties weighed on me as I walked. I wept and prayed beneath the merciless sun, tears and sweat mingling. The heat became unbearable, and I finally turned and headed back–back to the real world where the cares that threatened to break me waited to be dealt with.
I began to cross the river. The bridge there is high and wide, and halfway across I paused to gaze upon the water below. And then the wind began to blow.
It blew cool and fresh, and so hard that it nearly pushed me back into the opposite railing. I stood in it, reveling in it, letting it wash over me. It dried my tears and evaporated the sweat. It drove my despair into the background of my awareness and filled my senses with its exhilarating energy, its wild, passionate joy. It was the power that had created the universe with breath. It was that invisible truth that waits to waylay us. I felt I could never leave the bridge. I would remain there, drinking in the wind, existing in the wind forever.
And with that thought, the wind died away, and the sun beat down; and I had no reason, no excuse, for not re-entering the world. I walked on across the bridge, through the woods, and the heat was stifling; and I walked through tunnels beneath the highway, and I trudged up a steep, unforgiving hill. But as I did so, the reality struck me: I had not left the wind behind and the wind had not left me. I had breathed it in, filled my lungs with it, and it had entered my bloodstream and was even at that moment making itself a part of my very cells, energizing me with its power.
The despair was still there, but injected with hope. The concerns were still existent, but buoyed in a jet stream of truth. The sweat and the tears still drenched my face. But I contained the wind. I could go on.
And as I stepped into the comfortless desert of the parking lot, ready to head for home, the wind swept back my hair. The blessed wind was blowing.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 ESV