Breath is the difference between dry bones laying in a valley and living creatures ready to move.
Try some breath work of your own today. Draw a simple square in the margins of this page. Starting at the bottom left corner, move your finger up the line to the top left corner. As you do this, inhale and count to four. Then move your finger to the top right corner as you exhale to a four count. As your finger then moves down the next line to the bottom right corner, inhale to another count of four. Then move your finger to the place you began and exhale to a four count once again. As your breath and your body do this square dance, remember the constant dance of life we almost forget to see.
A gasp. The moment the lights are finally plugged in and the tree becomes a twinkly fixture in your home.
A sigh. At the end of a long season of waiting, the body releases its tension and you relax as the crackling fire glows.
A deep inhale. As you place your mouth on the cup’s rim, the smell of hot chocolate mixes with steam, a foretaste.
An exhale. The wand drips with suds, then a bubble of pure magic in a perfect circle floats away, daring you to chase it.
A sob. The first holiday you live through after a loved one died.
A squeal of delight. Something unexpected pulls you into the goodness of God’s grace.
God’s breath gives these bones life. God breathes the ability to gasp, sigh, inhale, exhale, sob, and squeal into them and us. And you shall know that I am the LORD (v. 6) in these moments and memories, these single acts of life.
Pay attention to your breathing. What kinds of breaths have you been taking most these days? Shallow? Deep? Hot? Hurried? What shifts in you when you pay attention to them?
Draw us to you, God, that we may catch our breath and be grateful for your work deep within us. Amen.