The other day, I had a phone conversation with a priest who serves an extremely impoverished population. He also has a ministry in which he teaches people how to be more aware of themselves and God during their daily lives.
The way we ended up on the phone is so random that it’s not even worth it to explain, but what stood out to me was how joyful, sharp, and engaged he was – especially as he talked about the Holy Spirit. I admire people who can concretely talk about the Holy Spirit; because although He feels closer than my skin sometimes, at other times, His amorphous nature leaves me feeling a little disconnected from Him as a person.
Towards the end of the conversation, the priest said something that will probably stick with me for years, even though I doubt he was trying to make a profound point.
He said, “It has been such a pleasant surprise to meet you today. I find that the Holy Spirit often works in surprises, so when a conversation like this happens, I usually sense He’s up to something.”
I think the idea moved me because it gave me a concrete way to engage with the Spirit – and even better, it gave me a way to be aware of the ways He’s trying to engage with me. So I’ve been keeping my eye open for little surprises, wondering what ways the Author of all life might show up in mine. I think I got one of those surprises today.
A few months ago, I prayed that God would open the door to relationships with Spanish-speakers, because I want my daughters to grow up around the language and Latin culture (my wife is Puerto Rican, and we both speak Spanish). Well, my garage door was acting up today, so I asked my handy neighbor to come over and take a look at it. We opened the garage door to test it, and moments later, this El Salvadoran mom and her two kids came walking through the alley to which the garage door opens.
The woman’s kids ran into my yard, speaking Spanish, and they started playing with my daughters. Then the mom and I started chatting it up in Spanish, and it turns out that they live right down the street. Before the conversation wrapped up, she said she wanted to meet my wife and bring her kids over again to play the next day.
After that little interaction, I’ve got to admit, I felt loved. I mean, seriously, people – I asked the Lord to open the door to relationships with Spanish-speakers, and He literally opened the door to my garage so I could meet this Spanish-speaking mom whose kids are looking for some friends to play with during the day.
So yeah, I’d say we got a surprise from the Holy Spirit today. I can’t help but wonder what He’ll do tomorrow.