Years of waiting, months of uncertain anticipation, hours of labour are over as the baby is finally pushed out into this world. It’s a boy. But the seconds waiting, with bated breath, for the loud cry which indicates his first intake of breath feel interminable. It’s a breath in, not out. Everything from this moment onwards depends on breathing.

Ninety six years of love and commitment, pioneering service, gentleness, beauty and growth were sustained throughout by breathing, in and out, in and out….

Rarely did he or anyone else notice this constant rhythm – unless he was running to catch a train or snoring whilst deeply asleep – until the time came to surrender. He went to bed early.

“What would you like to eat or drink?”
“Nothing, thank you.”
“What about your antibiotics?”
“I don’t want to take any more.”

With love, sensitivity and dignity, he said his goodbyes. His breathing became shallower, slower. He drifted into sleep – no snoring now. He took his last breath in – and gently, silently, it slipped out.

YaH-WeH, God, never had a first breath in and will never have a last breath – he is and always has existed as the Breath of Life who sustains all that he lovingly creates. Before the baby took his first breath, he was sustained by the breath of his mother, of God himself. After his last breath, he was taken back into the eternal Breath of God.

Become aware of God’s sustaining and eternal Breath of Life. Breathe in YaH and breathe out WeH. Each breath links your past (and your first breath) to this present moment and to your future, to your final breath out when you finally surrender fully into God’s hands.

“Jesus called out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.’ And when He had said this, he breathed his last.”

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