The Holy Spirit always resides

Seeing the Spirit’s work in adversity.


Seeing the Spirit’s work in adversity. | Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES

Chris Baeza, Writer

There exists a moment where it seems that there is no help anywhere around you and all security has been lost. Yet, this signifies a moment where the Holy Spirit appears to provide certainty.

Doctor Marcia Clarke was just driving through a muddy path in Ghana when she got stuck in a puddle of mudd while driving a 4X4 truck. All the security she had found in that truck’s ability to do its job was lost — it appeared that she would not find any help out of her situation. Just as Marcia felt helpless, the women of the Black Pentecostal community in England did so as well. The women who had immigrated from Jamaica to England, were not greeted with open arms which nevertheless, felt discouraging. It seemed as if they would find no sanctuary in this new place anywhere, except in the comfort of their own community.

For those part of the Pentecostal denomination, “Pentecostalism is about knowing God through experience,” said Clarke. Through both of these stories it seemed as if the Holy Spirit was nowhere to be felt or seen in their situations. For Clarke, there was no salvation and for the women from Jamaica there was no refuge to be found. Through all this time it seemed as if there would be no escape from there present trouble, but the Holy Spirit gave them peace and worked through others to provide help. For Clarke, the Spirit led two young men to help her get her car unstuck and for the Jamaican woman a community to make a home with.  

Throughout the session, Dr. Clarke showed us the power of the Spirit through her story and not by actually talking about the Spirit directly. When the women that she interviewed for her research were asked why the Holy Spirit was not mentioned in their stories and they told her that having the Spirit is a “given.” The Spirit does not need to be mentioned because the Spirit is there from conversion. Through all the adversity these women and Clarke faced, they always knew that the Spirit resided with them. “There are times we find ourselves stuck… The Holy Spirit says, get out of the way,” said Clarke.

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