by Debbonnaire Kovacs
What if I were in the upper room when the wind started? What if I weren't Peter, or James, or John, or even Matthias? What if I were some wholly unknown person–maybe one of the women? (Not Mary or Mary or the other Mary–someone no one ever heard of or ever will.)
I cringe in terror at the sound of a hurricane right in the house with us–we all do, even fishermen who are used to Lake Galilee's erratic and temperamental attitudes. Maybe especially those fishermen, come to think of it. But gradually our fear transforms to a holy, shivery awe as we realize this wind is not of the earth. We lower the arms we'd thrown over our faces, and lift our heads. Everyone is staring at everyone else, mouths open. I suddenly remember hearing about Jesus telling Nicodemus that the Spirit is like the wind. He said he'd send that Spirit to us–another comforter, he said. We wouldn't be alone anymore. Not that we're alone now–I've never experienced anything like this unity. Still, Jesus is gone, and it's terribly lonely!
Fire! There's fire, too? My arms prickle with chills as I watch flame divide into little tongues which settle just above each head. Mine, too? I try to roll my eyes far enough back to see above my veil, but can't. Then the murmuring begins, and quickly grows to shouts of praise and amazement. Hebrew, Aramaean, Greek, and things I can't begin to recognize–what is this?!
The joy becomes too big to contain in one upstairs room. We spill out and down the stairs in a peoplefall of singing and rejoicing, and see that crowds are gathering. "They're drunk!" someone shouts, and I have to admit, that is what it feels like. Are we drunk? On what?
Peter begins to speak and the crowd (ourselves included) quiet to listen.
But I'm not Peter, or James, or John, or Matthias. I'm not Mary or Mary or anyone that anyone has ever heard of, or ever will.
So, what happens next?