In Celtic writings, the Wild Goose has been used as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. Rather than portraying Him as the gentle dove, they felt more comfortable with a bird who expressed the wildness and un-tameable nature for the Spirit of God. It is said that the early Celtic believers in the Dark Ages would fast and pray, and then launch from their coasts in a boat with a sail and no rudder, simply believing that the Spirit would direct the winds and blow their vessel where He wanted them to evangelize or set up a prayer cell on some coastal island. For them, the Spirit of God was as wild as the Irish Sea, and the call of the goose represented that part of His nature.
Celtic artist Mary Fleeson says, “The Wild Goose tells a different side of the Holy Spirit. To begin with, wild geese aren’t controllable, you can’t restrain a wild goose and bend it to your will. They’re raucous and loud, [and] unlike the sweet and calming cooing of a dove, a goose’s call is strong, challenging, strident and unnerving - and just a bit scary. In much the same way, the Spirit of God can be demanding and unsettling, and at times even a little scary.”
Jesus foretold that His followers would embrace this aspect of the Spirit:
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
There's something about this aspect of God that we often miss, since our Western culture seems bent on making everything as comfortable as possible. But what if God was less interested in our personal comfort and more passionate about helping us live out our calling? In this photo, I wanted to show the Bride of Christ being moved by the call of the wild goose, and drawn to step into an adventure that's a little wild and crazy, but exactly what she was born to do.
This week, let's ask the Holy Spirit to enable us to hear the "call of the wild goose" that prepares us for new and exciting adventures!
Prayer: Holy Spirit, cause me to hear Your voice, and show me how to follow as You lead on the beautiful adventures You've prepared!
This photo is a bit different that what I've posted previously, because I used three elements to create it: light, time, and oil. Light and time are used to create a photo with a camera, and then I painted with oils on canvas and imposed that element on top of the photo. Watch this video to see the creative process!