I am a singer. There, I said it. For six years, my parents paid for my vocal lessons as I grew into my voice. I still find that when I want to feel close to God, or when something feels too hard to handle, I begin to hum a song. Because I am a singer, I probably have about a million anthems flowing through my memory. I like to think it’s a God thing that just the right one comes at just the right time.
The anthem I’m hearing with this passage is “To Love Our God,” by Mark Hayes. Do you know it? The music begins with an eerie tone, evoking questions, uncertainty, even fear. The singers begin, “Where does the wind come from, where does it go?” The word for spirit, breath, or wind in Hebrew is Ru-ah. The ruah of God breathes here on these bones, a mighty ruah rushes in.
The music in the anthem builds a bit more until the writer
determines that everything must be empty and vain.
Empty like dry and desolate valley ridden bones.
Empty like senseless violence and deadly viruses.
How can these things be?
And then: a swell grows into a most beautiful melody: “To love our God, the reason we live.” Something about this sentiment catches me every time. The music and harmony bring life to me or me to it. I know that there will be seasons of emptiness when I cannot make heads or tails of anything. And yet, God does not leave me. This same God continues to breathe new life into all of us so that we can re-imagine life from the dry and desolate places, even when we cannot make sense of any of it. And we love God. And the ruah of God rushes in.
In what ways is God bringing you back to life in these days?
Oh God, fill me with your ruah so that I may know that loving you is the very reason I was brought back to life. Amen.