Week 3

“Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence.” – Henri Nouwen

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

These simple instructions were spoken by the worship leader at our church this weekend. The moment of stillness was used as an opportunity for us to attempt to catch our breath in a week where darkness has tried to prevail. It has been impossible to make sense of all of the loss or to find words for the emotions that accompany such horrible destruction. The long list of names of people who have lost their lives in Vegas is accompanied by their photographs and half-told stories while countless grieving families and friends grapple with their deaths.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Within the Jewish tradition, I am told that the word Yahweh (meaning God) comes from the sound of breath. Every time we breathe in, Yah-. Each time we breathe out, -weh. The name of God, whether recognized or not, is whispered with each breath we take. In these days where the world’s brokenness is abundantly clear, we need to be still and breathe –  calling out to the God who is present and loving and good.

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As our family attended doctors’ appointments this week, there were moments seasoned with undeniable grace and others which felt solely overwhelming. There are more and more tests that need to be done on little boys who are rightly afraid of the testing. And there are unanswerable questions about the history of these little ones which reminds me of their mama’s absence. I feel sad that I never knew her. The words of Jody Landers flood my mind: “Children born to another woman call me mama. The magnitude of the tragedy and the depth of the privilege are not lost on me.”

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

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