Friday, May 9, 2008

Pentecost Friday Five

Great questions from Presbyterian Gal at RevGalBlogPals:

FROM ACTS CHAPTER 2: 14-21 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

(My personal favorite in this passage is how Peter insists the men cannot be drunk because it's only 9:00 a.m.) Hey! Me Too!

Anyway, it's Pentecost and my very first Friday Five! Thinking about all the gifts of the spirit and what Peter said of the "last days"......

Have you or anyone you know

1. ...ever experienced a prophesy (vision or dream) that came true?
No, but I've had some weird dreams. And some moments when I just knew the phone would ring, or I would win in a drawing. I've also had dreams where I had some control over what was happening in them.. but that's probably another story for another time.

2. ...dreamed of a stranger, then actually met them later?

3. ...seen a wonder in heaven? (including UFO's)
Mmmm... The greatest wonder I've ever seen in heaven was the plentitude of stars on a dark night in the country. I think the best place to see stars is in Montana during the winter (when nights are really really long). With no clouds and little disturbance from city lights, the skies are absolutely stunning. It's so amazingly vast, and yet imminently close--definitely one of God's greatest wonders.

4. ...seen a "sign" on the earth?
To stretch the question a little... when I was on a retreat a couple of years ago, a vocations retreat, a friend of mine kept saying "it's a sign" about everything. We slept in the old convent dormitory (it's a sign!) over Palm Sunday (it's a sign!). It snowed that night (it's a sign!) and we had to share keys to the front door (it's a sign!). It was pretty funny--anything can be a "sign" if you put your mind to it.
To stretch the question in another direction... I think I have seen signs along the path of discernment that indicate to me that I am moving in the right direction. Two come to mind. Several months into discernment for religious life, I found a short story that I had written in middle school. The heroine was a princess who basically rescued herself from calamity and rejected the prince. She remained single and lived happily ever after with her dog. (I still can't believe that I wrote it--but in retrospect, I never really dreamed about marriage at all as a kid. Though I also never dreamed of becoming a nun.)
The second sign is more recent. This week, I emailed a friend and told him that I was applying to become a sister with the Society of the Sacred Heart. He's a Franciscan friar, and his exact words in response were: "I'm so happy that you have discovered what many already suspected. . . that you have a calling to "religious" life." It made me laugh and cry at the same time. I do wonder who the "many" are.

5. ...experienced knowledge of another language without ever having studied it?
You know, once you've studied a few languages, you can pick up words here and there from many others. But that's really the only experience of language-knowing that I have ever had! It does seem like there are other ways of communicating, such as knowing what someone else needs, even if they won't say. I know that more than once I have called my mom at just the right moment, when she really needed some love and support. Once, she was actually following the ambulance with my grandmother in it to the hospital. Little events like that must be nudgings of the Holy Spirit.

Bonus Question: What would a modern day news coverage of the first Pentecost have sounded like?
Oh, I can't imagine that it would be good. It would probably look a lot like the coverage of cult activity (without the illegal nature of many cults).... lots of sensation and very little substance to the report.


revhipchick said...

wonderful play! i especially love your answer to #4.

RevAnne said...

Great play. Love your interpretation of signs...

Presbyterian Gal said...

Your signs are truly moving. Thanks for sharing them.

Diane said...

I really like your #5, the gift of discernment.