March 24, 2007

Just breathe . . .

I got the new Nooma video in the mail yesterday. It is, as usual, brilliant. But it made me remember that the one that came out in December was still in it's wrapper sitting my office, so I decided to get that one out and watch it too. It's titled "Breathe."

In "Breathe", Rob Bell asks, "Have you ever thought about your breath from a spiritual perspective?" With everything that we deal with on a daily basis . . . from stressful things to mundane things . . . no one really ever stops to think about their breathing. Bell points out that the name of God, "LORD" appears in the Bible over 6000 times. But it wasn't originally written in the English language. It was originally in Hebrew. The Hebrew name is essentially 4 letters: "YHVH". But in Hebrew, the letters are pronounced: 'Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh." Say it out loud. The name of God is essentially the sound of breathing. How does that change the way we view ourselves and the others around us? God breathed into us the breath of life. And now by merely breathing, we speak his name.

Bored yet? Well, as I was sitting in our childbirth class today, learning to concentrate on my breathing, this all came rushing back to me . . . the importance of breath. As I watched the gruesome labor and delivery video, I got teary as I watched the baby take his first breath and thereby speak the name of God for the first time.

Divine breath is flowing through each of us who have been created by God . . . no matter what their belief system, race, sense of humor or anything else. We are all on holy ground whether we stop to recognize it or not. He ends with this blessing:

"May you come to see that God is here right now with us all of the time.
May you come to see that the ground you are standing on is holy.
And as you slow down, may you become aware that it is in 'Yod, heh, vav, heh' that we live and we move and we breathe."

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