Breath of life

After the miserable rain-soaked winter we've had, I'm longing for summer. 

Nothing says summer has come better than a rose in full bloom, so here is a rose - a foretaste of summer. 

This one is called 'breath of life'.

Today's poem for Lent from 'Barefoot Prayers' is 'Breath of God', a gentler image than that of the overpowering ocean waves of yesterday's poem 'Repentance'. You can listen to Toby Carson reading 'Breath of God' or read it yourself here.

'Breath of God' is a calming image of God breathing life into places of "despair and desolation" and flowing too "where life is coming to an end", a phrase that took me back to the time spent sitting with my mother in hospital last April, watching and waiting as she took her last breaths and the breath of life flowed peacefully "into the kingdom of death". I've just re-read what I wrote about that a few weeks later in 'Severing the umbilical cord - again'.

The breath of God is what gives life, accompanies death and breathes new resurrection life. It flows, "as grace, as love, as spirit, as life". Stephen Cherry's poem is a prayer that ends, 
"Breath of God, breath of God, breath of God, 
breathe on me, 
breath with me 

breathe me."

It makes me think of the hymn,
"Breathe on me breath of God, 
fill me with life anew..."
That's my prayer for this 2nd day of Lent. Here's a classical rendering of that hymn:

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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