I am one of life’s big sigh-ers.
Often over the years people have said to me ‘oh dear that’s a big sigh…. are you alright?’ Or similar words. I don’t even know I am sighing.
I recall hearing years ago that sighing is good for us – it is a way of letting go. Sometimes our inner thoughts are sad, or troubled, or agitated and sighing can help dispel some of that inner negative energy. A big sigh helps us tremendously when we don’t know what else to say or do.
Breath is our very life. In Hebrew thought breath was indeed God given. God breathed into Adam’s nostrils and Adam lived. In Hebrew thought therefore breathing out was associated with the end of life –when we take our last breath. As was noted as Jesus took his last breath upon the cross and the temple curtain tore in two. Mark 15:37
The in breath brings life and the out breath, eventually, brings end of life.
The in breath inhales inspiration and hope, the out breath exhales discouragement and hindrance.
Jesus resurrected, comes to his disciples after the cross and says to them ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me so I am sending you’. And with that he breathed upon them and said ‘Receive the Holy Spirit… John 20:21-22
At this moment Jesus shares by breathing upon them His Holy Spirit which will come in fullness at Pentecost – when roaring wind and flames of fire and new tongues or languages will be given to those gathered in prayer and worship. Acts 2:1-47
The Hebrew word Ruach is translated as breath and is often used to express the Holy Spirit of God – as wind, as breath, as life…
So my interest is aroused that panic attacks often affect the breath, that many therapists teach breath control, that most mediations and similar practices focus around the breath and most noticeably right now the wearing of facemasks and the affect they have on our ability to breathe– even if some of that is more psychological than actual in many cases.
Let us give thanks for our breath – every few moments we take a breath – a fresh infill of life. Every single one of us. We share in this. Let us give thanks for ventilators, inhalers and all sorts of other medical equipment that helps us to breathe should we need it.
As we breathe in we breathe in God’s ongoing and generous gift of life.
As we exhale we have the opportunity to let go of some of those inner thought or emotions, alongside the unwanted CO2.
Sigh when you need to – it helps us expel those things we might otherwise carry with us that are not helpful to us. And then rejoice as you inhale and have more room to take in the goodness of God in the very breath he gives us moment by moment, day by day…
Come breath of God, come breathe within us!
Rev. Lorraine Apps – Huggins.
Please Note: Our Blogs may not be as regular as they have been over the past few weeks. We are focusing our time on the prayer appointments in parish Hubs and preparing for our annual St. Lukestide service at the Cathedral. BUT we haven’t gone away and we are continuing to offer prayer appointments and individual retreats at The Living Well so do make contact with us if you would like to come and see us.
St Lukestide Service celebrating the healing ministry will be on Sunday 18th October at 7.30pm. Bookings for this event will be available soon through a link with the Cathedral booking system of Eventbrite.
Watch this space!