The Sound of Your Breathing

Posted: September 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

Breathing.  It’s something we all take for granted.  I have spent the last few days sitting in my Dad’s hospital room watching him breathe.  He has been sleeping for several days now, and in the past few days he has developed some apnea … he will breathe and then pause.  Sometimes for up to 15 to 20 seconds.  It’s unnerving, so I watch and wait for the next breath.  I am taken back to the days of being a nervous new parent, watching your baby’s little chest rise and fall during nap time.  I did it more than once … just to be sure they were okay.

All this preoccupation with breathing reminds me of something I heard several years ago.  In the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God reveals His name to Moses.  We spell it “Yahweh”, but there are no vowels in Hebrew, so God’s name would correctly be spelled Y H W H.  These are four aspirated consonants, so if you were to pronounce each consonant in order, it would sound very much like the sound of breathing.  So, with this in mind, when you are born and take your very first breath, you begin speaking God’s name.  You repeat it over and over throughout your lifetime until that day comes when you breathe your last breath.  You die when you stop speaking the name of God.

This all makes sense to me since the Hebrew word “ruach” can be translated as “breath” or “spirit”.  For the time being I will take comfort in watching each breath.  I will also take comfort in knowing that when that time comes when my father ceases to speak God’s name, he will have the chance to be with Him.  Amen.

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