The wind of the spirit

Last week we drove through the Manawatu Gorge on the way from Palmerston North to Hawkes Bay. We rounded a corner and were confronted with the sight of many wind turbines spinning slowly on the top of a low range of hills.

I’d never seen a wind farm like this, and the view hit me in unexpected ways. There was something beautiful and majestic about these massive, elegant structures turing slowly, silently in the distance. They gave me an incredible sense of hope, of faith in the future, and in humankind’s ability to meet the global challenges we are facing.

The turbines lined up on the hills made me think of the crosses on top of Calvary, where Jesus was crucified. I’ve heard many people speak about the sacrifice Jesus made, so we could be redeemed through him. I don’t believe that Jesus was anything more than a man. A very enlightened man, but not a supernatural being, not ‘chosen’ by an intentional God. I don’t have any way of knowing whether he was aware of what would come of his sacrifice. I do know that Jesus spoke truth to power, he rejected the temptation of wealth and influence that might have been his if he had taken up arms against his oppressors, and when he was to be arrested and punished by those whose power was threatened by his words, he did not flee. I don’t think he did this because it would cause a major religion to grow up around his teachings. I think he did it because in his heart, in the still small voice of the spirit he knew it was right.

Many people have said they don’t like wind farms. They spoil the landscape they say. To me this is a sacrifice we have to make. Not just because we believe it will save us, but because respecting the Earth, working with it rather than pillaging it, feels to me, deeply, like the right thing to do. I would gladly have turbines on the hills behind my house. I would be proud to. Just as the cross does to many Christians they symbolise to me something greater, something true, something beautiful.

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