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Posts Tagged ‘breath’

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Back on the first Sunday of December (the first Advent Sunday) I posted a guest post called Do You Hear What I Hear?

For me it was the message that God seemed to be continually whispering to me, as the Christmas season was approaching, as the chaos of the festivities kept getting louder and louder, as the focus I so desired kept getting drowned out. It was the message to “listen for the still small voice.”

Really the still small voice is barely more than a breath …

It is the breath of Genesis 2:7, “and the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

It is the breath of Ezekiel 37:6, I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

It is the breath of John 20:21-22 , “again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

And,

in the still of the night,

in a simple place for animals,

not an earthquake,

not a rushing wind

… not even a fire,

but through the still small voice of a baby

taking His first breath

still,

an act of God.

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As I entered the quiet room, I flicked on the light … no movement.images

I moved the blankets, still warm with the heat of his body, down off his chest … still no movement.

This man-boy sleeping before me is completely without movement, even the rise and fall of his chest with life-sustaining oxygen is almost indiscernible.

Waking my son recently gave me a birds eye view of the effects of God breathing life into man and woman.

When I entered his room he was completely unaware of my presence, of the bright lights being turned on, or that I had moved his blanket off of his upper body. He lay on his bed motionless, even the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed was almost without motion.

When we sleep our breathing slows immensely, because our muscles and organs are not needing large amounts of oxygen in their resting state. As our breathing slows, our body’s processes slow, it is as though the life within us were hibernating. We are still fully alive, yet we are not fully living our life.

Some of us live our daily lives as though we are still in that hibernating state of sleep. Our bodies function, we do all that is needed to be done in order to sustain our existence, yet we live as though we are asleep, our organs functioning, but not as though we are fully awake … not as though we are fully living our lives.

As I worked at stirring my son, the moment of his waking was discernible. He inhaled a deep and audible breath, and as that first breath of the day was entering his lungs, signs of life were also discernible in his body. His eyes moved behind the veil of his lids, his limbs moved and he stretched his body, as though making more room for the oxygen entering his lungs.

His awakening, heralded by his intake of the first big breath of the day stirring every cells in his body to be fully awakened, fully alive.

This is the freshness of each new day, of each new year. To take in the breath of life given to us by our Creator, and to make our days, our years, our lives worthy of the gift He has given.

“Then the Lord God
formed a man
from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and the man became a living being.
(Genesis 2:7)

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In the early morning quiet I am the only one under our roof who is awake.

I sit with the laptop warming my knees and hear the various songs of the dawns chorus by the early birds that says good morning to me. This is my favorite time of day.

The sky lightens with every minutes passing, the shadows appear and become more distinct, then fade as the light takes over the places of shadows.

My beast greats me each morning at the door of my bedroom with one joyous, hope-filled open eye staring up, communicating, “can I pee now?” When I open the door for her, I am greeted with the gift of fresh, crisp, clean air. My lungs inhale it’s newness with no conscious thought from me.

As I take in that first breath of morning air I sense that now I am awake, now I am alive from the inside out.

I smell the dampness in the air that the morning dew creates, I smell the creation that is green and purple, and blue and red and yellow… the flowers of my garden. I see the creation that is green and purple and blue and red and yellow … the flowers of His garden.

It is here, each and every morning that I step out onto the deck that I am confronted with His garden, His creation, His abilities, His greatness. It is here, each and every morning that all that He has created reminds me that He also created me. That He is bigger than me. That He can make beauty from dirt from nothing. It is here that I am reminded that, if I hand my problems, my struggles, my heartaches and my to do list over to Him, He will make beauty from my dirt, from nothing. He reminds me that if I take the whole of my life, even my body, and there in the alter of His garden, lay it all out for Him to do as He wills, as an act of sacrifice, He will take it, He will redeem the life I have, and make it something better than I ever could … something new.

Then I inhale a new scent, and I look down to see my beast, content that her ‘job’ is done, ready to move on to the intake of food. And I am reminded that signs of life are not always sweet. Sometimes signs of life are truly crappy. Sometimes signs of life are downright shitty.

Death can be one of those sour signs of life. Or illness, or pain, or stress, or struggle, or disappointment, or bills, or divorce, or a failed test, or broken trust. We feel the weight that those signs of life, through no conscious choice of our own to feel them. As we take in those sour signs of life we sense that we are awake, that we are alive from the inside out. Sometimes these more sour events and seasons in our lives make us feel alive … and wish it were not so.

They are indeed signs of life. And they remind us that life is not just the life we have here, now, today, but that there is a life beyond all time and space. A life where every breath is like that first morning uncontrolled inhaling of fresh created air. A life where we will not just have the created to woo us awake, and to marvel at with all of our sense, but also the Creator who will turn our mourning into dancing.

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