Breath of God
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Breath of God
Emptiness, darkness, confusion; It was a world without welcome, earth that held no warmth.
The disarray waited for a breath that would awaken it to life.
God created to say that the light flooded the darkness, that music and beauty broke into emptiness, that energy swept through the confusion and gave it direction and meaning.
The abyss, the symbol of complete desolation, was transformed into a home for all of God’s best ideas.
All of these ideas shared something in common. All were connected at a most fundamental level by God’s breath. God the breath-sharer.
It is an image as intimate as it is mysterious. God of Israelites did not act from a distance; instead, He drew closer to the sleeping universe, close as breath.
The Hebrew word for “breath” is ruah. It also means “wind” and “spirit.”
God’s very breath reached and sustained all creation. The breath of God became our breath.
God’s very breath penetrated creatures. How do we empathize with a God who shares breath? How do we feel the extraordinary closeness such as God?
Perhaps the type of breath-sharing that is closer to our own experiences is the act of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A few months ago, in a tragic accident in our neighborhood, a five-year-old boy was struck by a car. As he lay on the road, bruised, bleeding, and without breath, his father ran out and instinctively pressed his mouth to his child’s and began to breathe his breath into his son’s lungs. It was an effort to uproar life. It was saving action – the kind of saving action peculiar of the parent God.
Sometimes at the accident scenes and swimming pools, one percent puts their breath into another’s lungs. At other times the breath that gives life is a word of encouragement, an hour, an expression of love. Whenever ours and actions inspire one another, we participate in the ongoing creation process.