Breathing with God

By Carol Devine

In Genesis 1, Ruach Elohim, the breath, spirit, essence of God hovered and moved to begin creation. The word ruach is found almost 400 times in the Hebrew scriptures translated as spirit, breath or wind. Everything in creation was imbued with the essence of God. The benediction to the book of Psalms ends with, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!” That same breath/spirit given to the earth is to return to God in praise. Sit with that for a minute. That is powerful!

All of us require breath, but rarely do we think about it – unless our breathing is impaired because of an illness like Covid, pneumonia, asthma, or another condition. Breathing is so constant and automatic that we take it for granted.  What a great blessing it is to breathe while we sleep, work, and go about our lives. It comes and goes without a thought. And it is not only necessary for our bodies, but also for our spirits. It connects us and reconnects us to ourselves, to our creator, to each other, and to everything that has breath.

And yet, more and more people each year can no longer take breathing for granted. The latest American Climate Perspectives Survey shows that nearly 3 in 5 Americans say air pollution makes them concerned for their health and safety. The World Health Organization says that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants which results in 10 million human deaths each year from air pollution.

And the impacts do not end with humans, air pollution is linked to tumors, cardiac arrest, respiratory and nose problems in animals. Our pets and wildlife suffer, birds and insects areparticularly susceptible to problems from air pollution, and the growth of plants can be stunted by air pollution. We are in a situation where each day that passes there are more people, animals, and plants that do not have the breath to praise the LORD.

Even though most Americans are concerned about air pollution, most do not understand the connection between air pollution and climate change, but according to the recent American Climate Perspectives Survey are curious about climate change.

It is up to us, everyone, every day, to talk about climate with our faith communities, friends, and families. Learn how using these 5 steps to effective climate communication .

We are all living our one precious life. So, let us do all we can to leave things better than they are now. Let everyone who has breath, talk to others about climate change. And let everything that has breath, praise the LORD!

 

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