Take A Deep Breath

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When you exhale long after holding your breath because you’ve been waiting, bated, it is here that you realize the life force breathing deeply truly is.

Your lungs, for several days taut and puffing shallow, let go with relief because you are grateful for simply being able to go outside.

Terror has once again slipped back into the shadows.

How do we keep breathing, inhaling the deep breath of the safe and contented?

How do we breathe in all that God has for us when we know that there are shadow places where the dark things prowl, waiting for an opportune moment to stop the heart, stricken the lungs?

How do we breathe joy when shrapnel threatens to fly?

We must seek another shadow. animals,bird nests,birds,eggs,nature,nests,photographs,speckled

It is when we dwell in this Shadow, the Almighty Shadow, that we are able breathe deep without the fear that tries to lay waste at noon.

We know not the night terror when we live under the wings of the One who first breathed the first breath into the first dirt man because we are echoing the psalmist’s words:

My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust! 

 

When the forces of darkness come unhinged and we are shaken breathless, we become like helpless sparrows buffeted about by a ruthless wind.

Then we remember what Jesus said about sparrows.Chipping sparrow

…yet not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from your Father….therefore, do not fear, you are of more value than many sparrows.

We breathe deep.

Our lungs fill full, knowing that nothing falls to the ground apart from the One Who loved us first.

We breathe peace because we fear no dark shadow.

We breathe joy because we are living under His Holy Shadow.

It is the only way to live and breathe.

The Provocation Of Faith And A Rake

Sometimes an act of faith is as simple as picking up a rake.garden tools,households,industries,Photographs,rakes,tools

A rake isn’t meant for hard ground, but faith goes looking for the thawed places where the tines can sink soft.

Faith braves the elements. It buffets itself against the bite of winter’s wind that whispers things don’t look so good out here.

The rake clinks ice.

A hard mound hidden under a layer of gravel spilled from the sand trucks is fixed into the earth.

Faith keeps raking because it knows a thawing is coming. It could happen at any moment on a day when the sun shines longer and the grass buried under rock and salt will stretch to reach  it.

Faith braves the elements.

It works through the buffeting.       beacons,blowing grasses,buildings,coastal grasses,grasses,lighthouses,nature,oceans,Photographs,places,plants,sea oats,seas,seashores,seasides,weather,winds,windy

A woman up to her neck in winter gear looks foolish pushing sand off the lawn but she doesn’t care if it means she can scrape against the ice to get at the hint of green underneath. She is knows that the early work of preparation will bring the greatest yield.

She hits a soft spot. The gravel yields to the rake’s sweep and the earth comes forth striped.

Jesus’ stripes, too, a raked soft spot for healing.

The woman pulls hard and manages to bring most of winter’s debris to the side of the road. Small piles line the lawn’s edge, waiting their final demise by way of wheelbarrow.

She surveys her work and smiles. She thinks she can actually feel the ground breathing relief.

And gratitude.

No more choke and dust. No more heavy weight.

Faith sees past all that. Faith sees the stuff underneath.

It is faith that provokes dormancy to bring what is meant to live out of it.

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