The day after I posted my last blog entry about reclaiming YHWH and letting go of Zeus, a student of mine offered the following prayer that he wrote:
Translated “I AM”, YAHWEH is our most sacred name for God. Considered so sacred, people refrain from its use, though they proclaim it with each breath. Taking a breath, notice the sound of the inhale “YAH” and exhale “WEH”. It is incredible, the whole world is praying God’s name constantly. Our life is our prayer and glory to God. Furthermore, we proclaim, “I AM”, and thus stating we are all a part of God. God breathed his life into us (Genesis 2:7). Our breath claims our own divinity as human beings. Consequently, one person can make a difference in this world. God can do and as we are divine an individual can do anything. I want people to appreciate this and see the beauty and potential in themselves and others. Most importantly, realize we all say the same prayer.
I found this to be beautifully insightful coming from a 17 year old young man. I use breath as a sign of the divine with my students often. I will tell them, “God is breath. We have been breathing since the moment we were born. Our breath sustains our lives. It is always with us, we just don’t always choose to acknowledge it.” And breath is usually associated with the the Spirit, the only part of the Trinity that can be seen by most as female. But I like this breath connection with YHWH, too. At some point during my day since he prayed this with us, when I am not feeling so divine, I close my eyes and listen to the sound and rhythm of my breath. Just being is enough. I AM, and I can feel the rest of creation breathing with me. The abundant, self-emptying, relational love is in us and around us and moving through all of us all of the time. There is great comfort in that for me. The boundaries break down. I am breath and life. It is hard to tell where YHWH stops and my neighbor starts. There is beauty and power in the simplicity of I AM, and there is a chance to remember that with each breath we take.