A guided meditation for sensitising people to the Spirit of God with and within them… to be read slowly with periods of silence between paragraphs.
Make yourself comfortable. Lie down or sit in a comfortable position – body relaxed, heavy, relying on the support of the floor or a chair, feeling the connection points, the texture beneath your skin, the tension in your muscles ….
Close your eyes and listen to the sounds outside the room – of traffic passing by; people rushing around on errands, chatting on the phone, laughing with friends; of birdsong and wind in the trees … picture in the myriad of sounds the whole world around you.
Now shrink the big world outside and focus on what you hear immediately around you – people getting settled, shifting … breathing, breathing, breathing.
Focus on your breath – breathed into your nostrils by the very God who made you and gave you life …
And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly. Acknowledge the breath within you – a breath which without we would return to lifelessness like the dry bones of the valley …
Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: as one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath … all go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly. How easily are you breathing? Do you feel short of breath, harassed, hurried, unwell? Are there places in your life that are dry and dusty, even dead?
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly. Allow He who makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; who sends lightning with the rain; who brings out the wind from his storehouses (Psalm 135:9) to reach into life with a creative energy and active power that may be invisible but is surely felt – like the breeze rustling amongst the trees, or the wind whipping up the waves on a once-calm sea.
Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than 60 bushels.
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly. Let your body relax more deeply beyond the chair or the floor that holds your weight into the certainty of God’s creativity and activity at work in your body, in your life.
Let the wind of God blow away the dust and dirt that has settled within you during this long day, the words of doubt or discouragement that still linger, the worries that drift over and over within your mind …
Let it carry to you in gentle whispers what you need to nourish your soul and restore your strength and remind you Who it is that made you and to Whom you belong. Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly.
Breath. Wind. Ruach – the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament to describe them. A feminine noun; the gentle, yet powerful, touch of God.
Breath. Wind. Ruach.
Yet there is another word too:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the “Ruach” of God was hovering over the waters.
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly. Feel the Spirit of God with and within you.
God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.
He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Master God, only you know that.”
He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’”
God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”
I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.
He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”
So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive!
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly. Not just breath, but ruach – Spirit. God’s Spirit touching the tired, aching places. God’s Spirit knitting together the fragments and compartments into which we break ourselves, our time, our lives, our day. God’s Spirit expelling lifelessness and monotony for movement and real life. God’s Spirit filling us with possibility …
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly.
And in the days that lie ahead, when life is tiresome or troubling, when people have pushed you to your breaking point, take a breath with the awareness that you invite in each inhalation something more: the Ruach of God. Turn your face towards the wind and open yourself up to the gentle caress of God.
God’s Spirit within us. God’s Spirit around us. God’s Spirit in me. God’s Spirit in you.
Breathe in deeply. Breathe out slowly. And when you are ready, arise alive with energy and vision for the life and work that God calls you to.