don't be surprised

for years i have thought that many of us who call ourselves "Christians" or "Jesus followers" or whatev, have MISSED out on a lot of what God is up to.

i feel like there are beautiful things going on in the world all the time that have God's activity written all over them... but we don't see it that way.

is it because our eyes are closed? because we're too busy? or simply because we don't think God concerns Himself with stuff like that because it doesn't have a "Christian" label on it?

as he often does, Brian McLaren magnificently puts into words what i've been feeling. in fact he finds words to express these feelings that are much better than the jumbled mess inside my head.

“Whenever people encounter justice, joy, peace, creativity, comfort, liberation, holiness, beauty, love, or any other good thing, they are in some way encountering the Spirit, or at least the signature or aftermath of the Spirit."

that is a beautiful way to put it. so beautiful.

in other words, God introduced these things into creation. so when it occurs... it stemmed from God. it stemmed from the Holy Spirit moving in the world like He was doing over the waters back in the Genesis poem.
When these things (justice, joy, peace, etc...) happen - it's a little piece of the Kingdom of God breaking through and the Spirit is orchestrating that. doesn't matter what "realm" of the world it occurred in. [AS IF there are different realms of life & of the world.] 

or it's at least "the signature or aftermath" of the Spirit. i love that.

Brian goes on to write that...
"The Spirit, then, is bigger than any particular religion or religion in general. Nobody has a monopoly on Spirit."

YES! thanks for saying it that way. that's what many of us feel but haven't been able to articulate... The Spirit & the Holy Spirit's movement in this world is BIGGER than any movement or religion or Christianity or really any thing or category we have created. no "category" [as if] could have a monopoly on the Spirit.

THEREFORE, we see the Spirit's activity across all boundaries and outside all boxes we have set up!

So, don't be surprised next time you see something happen outside of the artificial "the-Holy-Spirit-can-only-work-like-this" boundaries we have set up. don't be surprised. "we" (whoever your "we" is) can't have a monopoly on the Spirit's activity. and i'm thankful for that.
So, stop being surprised when things happen in unlikely places and through unlikely people who you may even think of as your enemies. don't be surprised... celebrate. The Kingdom is breaking through. The Spirit is up to something.

"Get that straight and a thousand other things begin to fall into place.”