How does one actually feel the presence of the Holy Spirit?
This is something I’ve grappled with since I was a young child regularly attending church in rural Ohio. I was never comfortable merely accepting the dogma passed down to me at every sunday school and sermon. I wanted to feel it, to believe it. I yearned for faith but I needed proof. This concept of the third part of the Holy Trinity being inside of me was one that I could never grasp. For quite some time I had stopped looking for this proof or reasoning. It wasn’t until a handful of years back, when I was looking to understand a physical phenomena within my body, that I came to wonder if it was the long awaited proof I had so wished to understand as a child.
Goosebumps, Chills, Moved to tears; We all know those moments in life when we have an experience with such power and magic that we are almost physically transcended by the emotion. It can be felt in love when you realize how much another human being means to you. It can happen through family when you see your child walk for the first time or graduate high school. It can come out of joy or out of sadness. It’s something that makes you realize that you are human and that we share this power and mystery of being alive, feeling and connecting in a vast world sitting small in an infinite universe.
I am not alone in these little miracles of tangible emotional-physical movement. I’ve had many of these experiences but likely the most common example for me has been through music; a song comes on the radio and says exactly what you’re feeling and you don’t feel alone. Or a piece of music sheds a light on the human who unknowingly shares it with you and you can see into his or her heart.
I can remember the exact moment when this lost idea from my youth sprung to mind in connection with the emotional hurricane a song created in me. It was Mahalia Jackson singing “Old Rugged Cross.” The hair on my arms stood up. There were goosebumps. And I felt a flush that moved me to tears and the idea struck me that I may be feeling the Holy Spirit. This may be exactly the proof of the internal movement of the Holy Spirit. I choose to believe this. Perhaps there is some other scientific explanation for these events, in fact I’m sure that there is, but I know that in those times when a song or a moment takes over my body I think back to those years I pondered the existence of the Holy Spirit and I feel content with this answer.