For freedom Christ has set us free;
stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
It’s a fresh Sunday morning in a different town.
I’m sitting by a now in-real-life blogging friend.
We begin to sing.
One word in the song gets me.
When it appears on the screen, sandwiched in between other lyrics, I choke up.
I don’t just say it. I don’t just sing it.
I feel it. I know it. It is seeping deeper into my bones.
The song ends. The sermon begins. On the Holy Spirit. Again.
He is dogging me.
Not to harass me, but to breathe harder, heavier, into my own unholy-transforming-into-holy spirit.
To prod me to celebrate his empowering.
To revel in my freedom from slavery.
When breath is hard to come by, you know the one thing you need to do, the one thing you must do—race outside and gulp in your healing.
You breathe deep. Hard and heavy. Until the chest starts to loosen. And your lungs fill again.
With hope. With grace. With Jesus.
He is freedom. The Spirit of freedom. Surrender your slavery.
Breath by breath, freedom expands.
And you wonder how you breathed before.
The service is ending.
The pastor prays. I wipe away drying tears.
This purging of old self and receiving of new Spirit. Amen and amen.
I swap snippets of life histories with my friend in the brief minutes we have. She mentions a word from her past: suffocation. I nod yes. We share smiles of knowing, of breathing deeply now, of Spirit who energizes and refreshes.
And frees. Absolutely.
And frees. Most certainly.
And frees. Positively.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
* * *