Friday, May 20, 2011

Breath = Spirit...more God-incidences

I can't help but observe that whenever I am feeling far away from God and in my non-theist mood that I am brought back by circumstance. Atheists would say "coincidence", Christians clumsily say "God-incidence". My intellect is stunned into silence by the beauty of the sea as I walk M&M to the bus stop in the morning and my spirit bursts forth with abundant joy.

Last Sunday I wasn't going to go to church but the previous Thursday we had a worship group rehearsal for a service on Friday and we also practiced Sunday's music - so I was committed. Was it a "coincidence" that the vicar spoke of guilt and suicide in his sermon on the birthday of my dear friend who committed suicide? Was it a "coincidence" that his mother (a staunch Roman Catholic) was there in an Anglican church as a carer for a young man who attends our church and thus heard the sermon? Was it a "coincidence" that we had the opportunity to sit down for a cup of tea on his birthday?

The Hebrew word for breath and spirit is the same. Is it a "coincidence" that as I felt my spirit crushed I gained asthma at the age of 32?

Is it a "coincidence" that as my spirit was re-awakened I suddenly had no need of the crutch of cigarettes as I no longer wanted to self-sabotage and was ready to let the breath / spirit in?

No answers I'm afraid - just more questions.


  1. The Hebrew word is "ruach", and indeed it is the same word used for breath and spirit.

    Indeed the opening words of the Bible have the word there:

    And the earth was waste and void;
    and darkness was upon the face of the deep:
    and the RUACH of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    What you didn't mention, and I don't know if you know, that Ruach is a feminine noun.

    That gets lost in translation; the Greek is pneuma, which is neuter (neither male not female), once it gets translated into the Latin Vulgate, it becomes Spiritus, which is male.

    But the ancient Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament, ruach is female.

  2. I did not know that RUACH was feminine - thanks for sharing a useful bit of information.