“After forty days, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made.” – Genesis 8:6
I can only imagine how exhilarating that moment must have been. Noah has been cooped up in a big boat with a lot of smelly animals (and people) for a very long time. It’s raining cats and dogs outside, while the camels and geese and mongooses et al. are assaulting Noah’s five senses in ways that only a pig farmer from the down east could appreciate.
Suddenly the rain stops and Noah bolts through the pens and roped-up animals, avoiding bites and scratches as best he can, and finds his way to a small portal (the first vehicle’s sun roof) where he sticks his head out, basks in the sunlight, eyes closed, chin raised, breathing deeply the fresh air. This is a moment that erases the boundaries between the physical and spiritual. God’s ruach, God’s breath, is present with Noah like never before.
As I write this I remember when Steve Tucker installed new windows in our Greensboro home. The old windows were either falling apart (in the attic) or stuck due to occasional paint jobs through the years. With my allergies, I am not one who loves to throw open the windows and breathe that fresh air. I use to be before I got all weird. Shirley loves to open those windows and let in all that yellow stuff, along with the fresh air. I like to breathe air that has already been “conditioned” by a large machine that resides in the back yard and is connected to the house by the large pipes called ducts.
Now, I would love to take that deep, deep breath of God if I were on or in a running mountain stream in early Spring or Fall, and reclaim my status as a child of nature and as a child of God. In that climate I would experience the freshness of God.
I am afraid that there are too many people like me in this world – people who allow the allergies of our lives keep the windows closed tightly on God’s freshness. I read the newspaper, listen to the never-ending new and opinion programs. In all of them the story is told of how stale the air in our world has grown. Look at how we see each other, treat each other, and push forward only our own agenda, whether it has anything to do with God or not.
It is time for all of us to open our windows today, both of home and soul. Take a long, deep breath. Look through the SON roof and see the Dry land is on your horizon. God can and will change this world through us if we breathe in God’s freshness and then share it with others we breathe out to the world around us.
Dear God of rain and dry land, may your wind lead us home, may your breath fill our lungs with pleasant odors, and may your spirit offer us a new and hopeful future, may your love make us know we are one, in and through Jesus. Amen.
Grace and Peace