There is a reason that the Hebrew word for ‘Spirit’ is the same as for ‘breath’. It is not a metaphor, but a reality. With every breath, we truly renew our Spirit. We bring the Holy (eternal, greater) Spirit into our bodies with each inhalation. It is when we cease to bring the eternal into ourselves that our spirit flees and we die.
I have a vision of sinking into holy waters and taking a deep breath of Spirit. The Spirit waters are viscous and I am struck with terror, for I am choking and drowning. My lungs, accustomed to vapid air, are not prepared for the rich nourishment of Spirit.
Then the feeling passes and I feel euphoric. It is as though this is the first time I’ve ever truly breathed. I look down. Through the patchwork of cracks in my shattered self, light shines brightly through, casting a beautiful and complex design upon the Spirit waters around me. I realize that the light is love, pouring through me because of the cracks in my being. I realize that this Love light shines brightest through the most broken vessels. It can shine brightly through me only because of my brokenness.
Two weeks later, while kneeling before cross & candle at a Taize service, I hear the voice of the Eternal.
“This candlelight is beautiful & holy. But if you could see the people around you with My eyes, you would see such a blessed brightness that you could scarcely bear it through squinted eyes.”
Then I see a vision of beams of light shining brightly from each person in their broken places, intersecting & colliding with beams from others, dashing off at odd angles & creating beautiful patterns of light in the air & glorious prisms of color at each intersection. I view flash after flash of rainbow light, and I am blinded by the glory of those loving & loved faces gathered there.
It occurs to me that I have no idea what pain and hurt must exist in that room, to create such beauty.