The Human Spirit and the Holy Spirit...
Permit me to flush something out of the bushes. I’m sure you’ve thought about it before, but it never hurts to try and put something into words.
For whatever reason, I’ve always been fascinated with the boundlessness of human experience. I’m not a humanist in the sense that I believe that everything exists for man orbiting around him as the center of all things. But I am a humanist in the sense that I believe man has exceeding value due to this little thing called Imago Dei, the image of God.
When God ensconced man with the mind, will, and emotions that represented his very nature, he planted within us immeasurable possibility. We are the image of God carrying around the imagination of God. Thus, the human spirit is potent, the root word of potential. Imageless we would be as worthless as ice in Iceland. It is the image of God that makes the spirit of man “inspiring”. Spirited, if you will.
Humanitarian causes resonate with me. When I peruse the gospels and watch Jesus’ meanderings, he seems pretty humanitarian to me. Feeding people when they were hungry, talking about social issues like poverty and inequality and seats of privilege, meeting physical needs like hearing loss, paralysis, a 12 year bout with vaginal bleeding, and a variety of disabilities. He was all about fighting for the marginalized and becoming vocal chords for those who had no voice.
I am sensitive to things that are inhumane. Injustice fires me up. Treating people with dignity regardless of race, creed, image, education or gender is a big deal to me. Abuse of the innocent, weak, or defenseless will cause an allergic reaction inside of me forcing my hand and demanding action. Humane treatment is huge for me.
There is a reason why these things strike a chord with me…I believe in the dignity of human life. I don’t think there is even a close second to its value. A smile, a tear, goose bumps, and laughter…all these things speak of something spiritual that is woven into the tapestry of our souls. Humanity is precious.
And there is nothing so powerful to me as a person who shows up in life. A person fully present and unabashedly comfortable in his or her own skin. When I meet an individual who shines in all their God-breathed glory without put-on pretence, I am moved profoundly.
Humans seem less human every year to me. I don’t know if it’s because we know too much or if we are mistakenly convinced that we have to try really hard if we ever hope to be noticed, achieve greatness or wield influence. Maybe it’s all the plastic we deal with every day. Plastic money that doesn’t exist (green that isn’t backed with gold, so to speak), plastic personalities quintessentially represented by politicians giving stump speeches, smear ads and empty promises, and plastic bodies made up with cosmetics and airbrushing, doctored up until they are too good to be true. Most of life is very, very inhuman, and all the more as our world values the generic over the authentic.
But due to “supply and demand’, the hunger for ‘human’ is on the rise. “Human” is rare. People want the warts, zits and birthmarks. They are suspicious of the slick shtick. Get this; people are so desperate for ‘human’ that they will forfeit truth for something true. This is where it gets dangerous; because when someone is genuine it is so intoxicating that people will naturally pick what is “real” over what is “right”. That is how hungry people are for human. They are dying to encounter something real, someone real.
St. Ignatius said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Another way of saying this is that the Holy Spirit is never more evident than when the Human Spirit is unveiled and unleashed.
I really believe that churches would see almost 100% growth over the next year if they would concentrate on the freeing of the Human Spirit as much as the filling of the Holy Spirit. The fact of the matter is that they are practically the same thing…which is to say that one can not happen without the other. And if a person is deemed filled with the Holy Spirit without any affect on the person’s Human Spirit, I would submit that the entire ruckus was nothing more than a false alarm, a fire drill if you will. Cause when the Holy Spirit shows up in a person’s life, their human spirit moves from being dehumanized to “humanized” and it is evidenced by effectual life.
I have never quite gotten the conversion of the heart that never translates into the conversion of the face. The heart has to inform the face of the “so-called” conversion somewhere along the line. The Holy Spirit and the Human Spirit have got to be in cahoots with each other.
Remember, the Bible says, “The Holy Spirit bears witness with our Human Spirit that we are children of God.”
I love the marriage of strong Anthropology and Pnuematology.
This is where the Kingdom heaves with anticipation, contracting with the birth pangs of redemption. It’s human and holy. It’s incarnation.
“When you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” – Jesus
“When you’ve seen me, you’ve seen Jesus.” – I hope to say this.
When you see the unadulterated human, you are looking at the unapologetic holy.