by Judi McLaren
Perhaps one of the most postulated divinities occurs when we become involved in other time-conducive and regulated periods throughout the year. The summer season puts our minds and bodies elsewhere to take advantage of the longer, warmer times when we gather in groups, celebrate into the nights, and set aside the worries of rigid schedules that we maintain throughout the rest of the year. We take a three-month vacation.
The Ruach of God Breathes into the Soul
Ultimately, this is the time to reconnect with the signs of symbols of our Holy Spirit and practice our devotions in the everyday calmness of the summer. Signs and symbols of the Spirit surround us everywhere, manifested in many ways in such elemental forces that even God cannot be ascribed just one. God is revered as part of the Trinity, so it stands to reason that the symbols are reflected not only on Him and Jesus but also on the Holy Spirit. Such a compassionate force relies on the eternal faith in life to instill character and breath into our souls.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased.” ( Mark 1 9-11 )
The dove is the most depicted and revered emblem used to explain the presence of the Holy Spirit, and within its gift, it is said to be compared to a multi-faceted diamond whose brilliance shines and illuminates the following character traits of the truly devout:
When analogized alongside the Holy Spirit, the imagery is astounding. Doves are gentle and will neither attack nor harm and retaliate unless when protecting their nests.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” ( Matthew 10:16 )
The purity of a white dove is self-descriptive. When resting in mid-flight, the wings of a dove point toward its head much like we look to the head of our religious community church or place of worship. Perhaps the most incredulous parallel is found with the words of 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 which introduce the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit:
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another, miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”
Both wings of the dove have nine main feathers. Even afterlife, the cry of a mourning dove plays a large part in the symbolism of our heavenly Father and Son.
Fire is a symbol depicted directly within the account of Luke as he described in Acts 2: 3-4 when each disciple was filled with the Holy Spirit by means of a flaming tongue. Also, fire is the ageless symbol for God as found in the creation of the Ark covenant with Abraham. God appearing to Moses in the form of the burning bush was the pillar that guided the Israelites throughout the passages in Exodus. And is said to have been the force which consumed Elijah’s offered holocaust.
Symbolically used medicinally to heal, clear the mind into understanding, and announce the arrival of the Holy Spirit into our souls. The oil element validates our acceptance to receive the wisdom and truth of God’s own Spirit.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” ( Genesis 2:7 )
Within the wind, we experience life-sustaining breath gifted to us by God, and just as wind appears from out of nowhere, so does the invisible appearance of God. When we need to be lifted, reaffirmed, and assured, allow the winds around us to carry the silent presence of the Lord and God to ease our burden and set our footsteps down on the solid, safe ground again.
Referred to as a highly precious commodity due to its scarceness in ancient biblical times, water is touted to cleanse the heart and remove all sin. Crop fertilizing and irrigating and herd sustaining water also symbolize prosperity and quenches our need for spiritual thirst to be slaked. Therefore, when we receive water, we also receive the Holy Spirit: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” ( Ezekiel 36: 25-27 )
God’s presence is everywhere, and these symbols not only help us to envision the essence of His power but they also give us validation by sight, touch, breath, and renewal. So, this summer, don’t surpass the words spoken to you by nature. Allow the Spirit to move you, with you, and for you as the Holy Father and Son wishes it to be.