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Goose bumps.  You've experienced them before, I'm sure.  I looked up the technical cause of this sensation on medicinenet.com.  Here's what I learned: Goose bumps are a temporary local change in the skin. The chain of events leading to this skin change starts with a stimulus such as cold or fear. That stimulus causes a nerve discharge from an involuntary portion of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system. The nerve discharge causes contraction of little muscles called the arrectores pilorum (the hair erector muscles). Contraction of these muscles elevates the hair follicles above the rest of the skin. And it is these tiny elevations we perceive as goose bumps.

 

(Yes, I'm intrigued by odd things, which leads to interesting discoveries, like, for example, did you know that Graham crackers were invented in 1829 by Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, a self-proclaimed avid vegetarian?  Well, anyway, read on.  There is a point to my ramblings.)

 

So, I've found myself prickled by gooseflesh quite a lot lately, and started paying closer attention to the sensation.  And I've discovered that this sensation comes not from being chilled by an overworked air conditioner chugging to beat the Texas heat, nor from being unexpectedly startled by some intrusion into my concentration.  No, I get goose bumps when the wind of the Spirit makes its presence known to me.

 

Inevitably, as I'm visiting with another, whether by phone or in person, and as we share stories about how God is working in our lives, I find myself covered with gooseflesh.  Just this morning, I was visiting over coffee with the delightful Sallie Jo.  She shared with me about where she is in her life, how she feels that God works through her to minister to and bring peace and calm to those fearful of medical procedures.  (You see, Sallie Jo is a skilled technician in mammography and bone density scans, and many of the patients with whom she interacts are frightened and apprehensive about the procedures and tests they must undergo.)  As Sallie Jo described to me the joy and purpose she finds in her profession, I became more acutely aware of the extensive nature of the Body of Christ and how each of its members is called to some form of Christian service.  How wonderful it is that Sallie Jo has discerned and answered her call!  And then, I found myself covered with goose bumps.

 

And here's the fun part.  As I shared a bit of my spiritual journey with Sallie Jo, she smiled, as she looked down at her bare arms, adorned by goose bumps.  Who says we cannot see the Holy Spirit?

Grace and peace to you as you journey.

Yours in Christ,  

~~Jennifer

08/11/04

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