The truth is, Peter and I had signed up for one too many all-nighters. I was drooping over the piano as Andy Wright strummed sleepily, and even Peter’s boundless energy had petered out, so to speak. Outside, Cambridge’s partygoers were just getting started, but inside the Round Church, we were winding down. The end of our shift ticked sluggishly towards us when, two minutes before we would have locked up and cycled homewards, an unforeseen event occurred. One of the aforementioned partygoers, a young and decidedly inebriated man, wandered into the church! Making an unsteady beeline for one of the pews, he sat down and stared contemplatively at the ceiling. There was a moment of frozen surprise on our part, and then, with characteristic suddenness, the shekinah glory fell. As we got our second ‘wind’, which turned out to be the Biblical pneuma variety, I started to hammer enthusiastically at the piano while Andy was transformed into a flamenco guitarist. Peter began to sing the words of Psalm 84 at the top of his lungs.
I guess the Holy Spirit, evangelist that He is, wanted this young man to see something of the joy of heaven! The young man turned an unsteady gaze on us and came right out with it: “Why are you so… happy? There’s something different here, something different about you.” An excellent question! Barely able to believe our good ‘luck’ at such an easy opening, we proceeded to share the good news of Jesus with him as simply as we could. “It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us joy!” “Ah, yes… no. But what is it? There’s something… something different about you. Where am I?” He wasn’t lucid enough to grasp the Third Person of the Trinity, but then, how many of us are? It has been a spiritually difficult season since the traumatic delivery of my little one. The almost constant pain and exhaustion have rendered me incapable of much profundity in my thoughts, prayers or Bible reading, and yet in my groaning, I believe the Spirit is offering up perfect and articulate prayers to the Father. In my emotional dazedness, He gives me windows of unadulterated joy, like the one in which this video was taken. The Holy Spirit was the Author of our song of joy that night, and He is the reason there is joy in our singing today.