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Kleenex & the Holy Spirit

The Guideposts executive editor shares why love and the spirit is never far.

A box of tissue; Getty Images

We were on our way to church yesterday and Carol held out a wad of Kleenex for me. I looked at her questioningly, as any good husband might. A universal expression that says, “And what is this for?” “To wipe your nose,” she said, not mincing words. And to think, I was leaping ahead to more exalted topics, like Pentecost, for instance, and just what it might mean to have the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Later in church I was staring at the stained-glass window of the descending dove, age-long symbol of the Holy Spirit, and my mind was wandering, as I’ll admit it does fairly often in a service. It was pretty clear in the Bible when that fluttering bird came down as Jesus was baptized, it was not just a symbol but a real live bird. So what sort of real-life signs do I have in my life?

Our preacher was doing a fine job of getting everybody to feel the spirit and soon we would launch into an old Gospel tune “Sweet, Holy Spirit” that one wag in the choir said reminded him of an old skating rink tune: “Reverse skate,” he whispered. But what about those signs and wonders that appeared of old? Where was the descending dove today?

My mind went back to the Kleenex, held so graciously aloft, and I decided that if I wondered where the Holy Spirit was in my life, I didn’t have to go much farther than that. Early notice of those little flaws and imperfections, that constant well-spring of guidance and support, can be found pretty close to home. When you wonder where love and the spirit is, it’s probably sitting right next to you in the pew. The Kleenex came in handy, I’ll admit, all day long.

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