Written March 5, 2017
First syllable breathe in. Second, breathe out. In and out. In. Out. Yahweh. It is the name God gives himself, his name forever. I heard someone say starling words about how the name expresses the act of breathing, in and out. So, to say his name is to state significantly he is breath. Way back when he breathed into the first one’s nostrils the breath of life. We live because of breath. We live because the Creator’s breath moves in and out of us. What is meant to be is that he is our life.
When we are born we remember the day we took our first breath, our date of birth. Most often the breath comes in the forlorn form of a cry: deep breaths, trying to catch up with it because it’s far ahead, can’t get enough air to flow in, out. We cry out, “for crying out loud!” Prayer practice. We lift heavy burdens, hike steep inclines or stairs, and our breathing quickens, gasping gulps greedily inhaling, exhaling. We run or swiftly walk, and it’s as though the oxygen has gone missing and our lungs go hunting for more. In. Out. We do this until somewhere it is written down, or no one notices that, like all those who wake one last time, we breathe our last. He breathed his last.
Let everything that has breath praise Yahweh. Let everything that has breath breathe in and out. First syllable, second. Remember where that breath comes from. It is such a gift! It is so simple, such an automatic function our bodies just know how to do. Breathe breath. He comes these days and opens up his hand, releasing, offering the breath, and another kind of life, the life that is in him, from him, for him. In him is life. Breathe in. Breathe out. Live.
I notice my breath in a most delightful way when I seek his face. Just now I could have completed that sentence with, “when I pray,” but that is a word woefully inadequate and misunderstood. When I seek his Presence I know I have found what I am looking for by my breath. My breath gets sharpened, it comes cleaning, it works to refresh. Such times take place in the dark of night often, as I lay in the stillness. I breathe in. I breathe out. I have found what I think we all long for, especially when we wonder what is missing. It is something written, a promise Yahweh proposes. We will find him when we search for him with all our hearts, with all our minds, with all we are. I notice my breath when I find him, and experience the intake of love and joy and peace and comfort, even as I breathe out, cry out to Yahweh, “I love you, O LORD, my strength! You are my Rock, my fortress, my Deliverer. My God, my Rock in whom I take refuge. My Shield, the power of my salvation, my stronghold.” Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe breath.
On this day, thank God for the breath. Cry out his name, first syllable in, second out. Notice your breath throughout the day to slow your self down. Seek the Presence. Let him take your breath away, and breathe again, and find that other life. Live.