Pentecost Flames and…A Winner!

The Holy Spirit falls in flames this morning. I forget.

I am almost done fixing my hair when I hear strangled cries from the shower. It’s shampoo in the eyes. I go stand outside the stall. Mumble soothing words. Score one for mom.

I’m just putting on my black and white jacket when I remember: It’s Pentecost.

Don’t forget to wear red, I call into the hallway.

One son disappears to change. He yells back. There’s nothing clean that is red.

I suppose because I had class yesterday no one did the laundry, I say, grumpily to the air. The devil scores.

I sigh; yell back that’s okay as I grab a red blouse out of the closet. Another point for me.

Other one emerges from the shower, still whimpering. He lies back on the bed as I squeeze drops into his burning eyes.

Ow! It burns! The drops burn, mom!

Oh, for heaven’s sake! It will go away, just keep your eyes closed for a few minutes!

I snap.

Second point for the liar.

Eyes recover; he goes to look for red.

I can’t find my red shorts, he says.

I’m still trying to finish my hair. Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking.

There’s a load in the dryer I didn’t get to, look there.

I did. They’re not there.

Look in the basket downstairs.

They’re not there.

Fine. I’ll stop what I’m doing and go look. Is that what you want me to do? (sarcastically).

Satan 3. Mom 2. He pulls ahead.

I stomp down the stairs. When I find the basket the shorts are neatly folded on top. I just can’t stand it.

Jeffrey, did you look in this basket? Come and get your shorts. They were right here in plain sight.

I mutter under my breath…Honestly, I don’t know how you people could function without me.

Dad, of course, never witnesses the Sunday morning stress. He leaves early to get the music ready. Only has to worry about himself.

Oops. Did I just say that? Another point for the devil.

Triple score. Satan 6. Mom 2.

We are about to head out the door when I hear something fall on the floor. A button mysteriously falls off my blouse. No reason. Just  wiggles loose of thread and falls.

I feel a hysterical laugh welling up. Teddy hides a smile.

I’m not going to let you get me this time, I say, shaking my fist to the air. I change my blouse.

Another point for me.

We hustle out the door. Go to pick up some friends that we give a ride to every other week. Jeffrey rings the doorbell. Nothing. Finally a head peeks out.

I’m sorry, I forgot to call, she says. They’re not coming.

I don’t say a word as we pull away from their house, but the boys are giggling.

This is getting ridiculous, I say, grinning their way.

What next?

He’s still two points ahead. I feel a bit sheepish, letting him win…especially on Pentecost.

That’s when I remember.

Jesus has already won this thing for me. I have already won.

We walk into the church to red balloons and smiles.

I feel it.

He is inside me.

This knowledge rushes over me and through me—makes me dizzy.

The Holy Spirit lives inside of me.

If I could just act like it. If I could just remember…always.

Do you?

Happy Pentecost, friends. Here’s my gift…

The winner of Elaine Olsen’s book, Peace for the Journey is….

Mariel of Growing in Godliness!

Congratulations, Mariel! If you see this before I contact you, send me your snail. A little package of love will be on the way soon.

balloon photo by ai.dan, flickr creative commons


  1. says

    oh, Laura, you have no idea how this blesses me!!! Yeah God! One, I LOVE that you celebrate Pentecost…I’ve never even thought of that, but I LOVE it! Two, I am home sick with a double ear infection, strep throat and pink eye!!! I got on here to catch a refreshing word from you and as usual, you did not disappoint! Thank you, friend!
    going to email you my snail mail add. right now! 🙂

  2. says

    What a great volley – better than Wimbeldon! Love the way you made this so relate-able to all of us, and especially the twist in the end, the “Oh yeah,” part!

    BTW, maybe your hubs can trade places with you on some Sunday mornings and score a point with you!

  3. says

    Big Pentecost day in our church as well… husband all gussied up in this flaming stole, etc. We sang Happy Birthday to the church this morning, and my heart was strangely warmed all over again. Just the thought of it… what a day that must have been. May the witness of Pentecost still burn in and through our hearts brightly every day, and may we always… ALWAYS… give the devil his due!

    The victory is ours, praise God!


  4. says

    I’m just so thankful He is faithful even though I’m not…so thankful it’s not up to me…He loves me fully in spite of me and what I do or don’t do….HE WINS…ALWAYS!

  5. says

    We are the Pentecost People.

    Not *just* Father.
    Not *just* Son.
    But the Spirit, too.

    On that sweet, sweet Spirit.

    And you, on the side of the Three in One? I’d say it was a landslide victory, like:

    Laura: 1,000,000
    Satan: – 2

    Because of Him. Because of Him.

    Great post, Laura. Great, great post. You’re amazing.

  6. says

    This made me laugh, the back and forth competition, the realness of it all. “Open your eyeballs!” I always mutter at my kids, when they can’t find a sock or a sandal or a t-shirt that sitting right before their very eyes. What is it about kids and not looking? Or perhaps all of us and not looking?

    Didn’t know there was an association with red and Pentecost — next year, I’ll have to remember that when I go looking in closet on Sunday morning!

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