“Most of our inherent spirituality is in waiting on the Lord. It is the practice of God consciousness in our thinking. Allowing our hearts to be filled with the wonder of Him. In living a simple life of astonishment at his continual goodness. It is in developing a certainty in the kindness of God. It is loving the laughter and cheeriness of the Holy Spirit. It is being wrapped in the power of the grace that is in the Lord Jesus.” -Graham Cooke
So much of following has to do with getting to know God’s character–what he’s like and how he likes to relate to us. That takes time, and it takes listening and it takes waiting for him to speak. There have been times in my life where God has seemed distant. Oh, I knew he was right there, but sometimes it just didn’t feel that way. That was because, subconsciously, I worried that he was mad at me, or too messed up over my mistakes to talk to me. Because I wasn’t certain of his kindness, I created the distance.
That’s why I was so struck by Cooke’s description of the Holy Spirit. I’ve thought of the Holy Spirit as a lot of things–sober, serious, unpredictable, kind, loving–but cheery wasn’t one of them! What comfort this revelation brings though, as I quieted myself in God’s presence today and welcomed a cheery Holy Spirit. Immediately, I was reminded of Mrs. Potts (the teapot in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), a cheery and motherly persona whose job it was to simply pour a warm beverage for those coming in from the cold. In that moment I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me in a Mrs. Potts-cockney-accent sort of voice, and he said, “‘Tis alright, love.” In my mind I saw a figure tucking me into a blanket and this cheery Mrs. Potts/Holy Spirit voice talked to me some more about something I’ve been fretting over. And in an instant there was peace in my heart where there wasn’t before.
I love that the Holy Spirit is playful enough to interact with our imaginations, to engage in metaphor in such a way that drives his words home to our hearts. Next time you quiet down to pray, instead of imagining God-who-is-distant-and-far-away, remember Mrs. Potts, and imagine God-who-is-right-here, God-who-plays, God-who-would-sit-and- pour-us-tea.