The Breath of Life, the Wisdom of Ruah

Nothing in this world could have prepared me for what it would be like to carry little Zoom. For me, pregnancy was a beautiful spiritual dance. Two souls sharing the same space, the same life, the same energy for a brief period of time. One of the things that struck me very profoundly was that as I carried him during those nine months, I was his breath. Each breath gave him life, allowed him to grow, brought him one moment closer to being able to support his own life. Before he was even born I considered it a deep honor to be his mother, and I was completely humbled by being allowed to participate in the creation of another life.

“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me Life.” – Job 33:4

Sometimes, just sitting, I found myself thinking about breath. In Hebrew, the word for breath is the same as Spirit, it’s Ruah. So long ago, people understood that it was breath that brought them life, that brought them spirit. They also understood that Spirit was one in the same with God. In simple terms, breath equated to life which equated to God. It is only by God’s granting us spirit that we are each alive.

“the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being…” Genesis 2:7

Labor was not easy for Zoom and I. At about 54 hours in, our doctor let us know that it was in our best interest to have a Cesarean section. While not my first choice, it was not really about me. Zoom needed to come on out, and so we headed to the operating room.

After he was born, the nurses brought Zoom to me and I held him, fed him, took delight in his tiny-ness. As we were passing him around, one of the nurses noticed he was having a very hard time breathing. His nostrils flared, his chest sunk in, he was battling to draw air.

And all at once, Zoom was taken away to the NICU and admitted for having respiratory issues, TNN to be exact. It was suddenly all too real that as his mother, as the one who had given him physical breath for the first nine months of his life, I could no longer provide him what he needed. Instead, I had to look deeper, and take heart in the wisdom of Ruah.

Understanding and reflecting on Ruah led me to realize that not only did God form him, giving his body life and spirit, but now that Zoom had entered this world, God would continue to provide him with Life and Spirit. As I’d realized over the last nine months, Breath equated to life which equated to God. I could no longer provide Zoom with breath, or physically protect him from everything in this world. Zoom and I were both on the threshold of new roles, those of mother and son. In these early moments I was already learning to rest in the faith that God would provide, as He always has, for both of us. And every day since I have leaned on God to continue to guide us.

“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

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