As I exhale deeply after this week there is a hymn that has been rattling in my mind and so I share it with you:

Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do

Breathe on me breath of God, until my heart is pure, until my will is one with yours to do and to endure

This hymn, written by Edward Hatch is more than a song, it is a prayer!

A prayer that as we sit in whatever emotional filled body that we sit within; we are reminded of the fact that we are created in the image of God. And more than that we are brought to life, animated in this world by the breath of God, the spirit of God, the Ruach of God.

In some meditative practices there is a mantra that offers folk to ‘breathe in all that is good and then in turn breathe out all that is bad or negative’  but in the Tibetan meditative practice of tonglen the practitioner is invited into an equal exchange of one’s self. Essentially you are breathing in with the intent or as a prayer to remove suffering and breathing out with intent or as a prayer to offer comfort or joy.

This is not a practice to take on and carry the suffering of the world but to name it, acknowledge it, to accept it and then to find a way to make peace with it.

For me that is why the hymn we started with feels so important in this time…I am in need of the reminder that the breath of God is filling me with life anew, with abundant love, with the capacity to act, and with the ability to endure. I hope and pray that the breathe and spirit of God fills each of you with life anew, with abundant love, with a capacity to act and with an ability to endure.

Amen.

Rev. Samantha Houser
Associate Conference Minister