Goosebump Moments

December 2017

Goosebumps occur on our skin in a reaction to cold, fear, shock and sometime due to sense of nostalgia or something awe-inspiring. The bumps are created when muscles at the base of the hair contract and cause the hair to stand straight up. It is a sympathetic nervous symptom reaction which is linked to the flight-or-fight response. (Huffington Post, 3/23/2012)

From time to time when I talk with my friends, I experience goosebumps, those tiny tingly dots
on my arms. Someone is talking to me and suddenly they say something in the same tone and
manner as everything else they’ve been saying, but it is as if I hear at a slower speed and louder,
like in all capital letters. And then the chills run up and down my arms and I run my hands up
and down my arms as if to warm them up. How interesting. Hearing something said and
reacting to it emotionally causes a physical reaction. The subjects are varied, but the topics are
usually not mundane, not dealing with things but instead with attitude and values and challenges
and spiritual matters and yes, God. They are original thoughts, or at least said in an original way.
These moments send me diving for a pen and paper to write the comment down. I am realizing
just now as I write that they are truth; that is what makes them stand out. They are true
statements. They ring spiritually true, not of this earth. I think it is the voice of God speaking to
me through other people.

Goosebump moments are relatively uncommon and maybe that’s why they stand out. There are people I know who can be reliably counted on to bring me to goosebumps (when I meet with them I bring my notebook) and there are folks I have known and talked to for years without any goosebumps. It is in deep conversations that truth arrives, not usually in casual small talk. You can’t receive or even have a goosebump moment if you are not IN the moment (well, duh): actively listening and receiving, not thinking about what you will say next. Goosebump moments don’t seem to occur without active listening.

Sometimes the remark is a different way of looking at things. Several years ago I was talking to my young but spiritually mature friend Hannah and complaining about how busy I was and how stressed I was and how many things were going on and I told her I was right on the edge and she said, “Oh but isn’t the view amazing!” Goosebumps. The message was, perhaps, look at what is going on from a different perspective. God may have you in this place and time and activity for a reason. Goosebumps bring me up short and force me to stop and think. They signal truth. Goosebump words seem to speed quickly through my brain and go straight to my soul.

I have become convinced goosebump moments are resonant reminders of who I was created to be, and I crave more of them.

© 2017 Glenn Weybright. All rights reserved.

Return to Blog »