PORTRAIT OF GRACE
… God made a wind to pass over the earth …
Within the portrait of these written words, the stroke of a master artist’s brush arrests my attention, alerting me to an unveiled mystery painted upon this ancient canvas. New awareness of a familiar palette conjures up the earliest picture of the Most High, already at work, His Spirit moving upon other waters. Waters knowing His breath, from the beginning of beginnings. And I pause, to listen, and to learn.
That essence of God, ever present, first moved, in protective power, upon the face of the waters, when the earth was still without form, and void, and the surface of the earth had only tasted darkness.
From out of the darkness, born in light, clay breathed … each breath recognizing God’s presence, recognizing God’s breath flowing in, flowing out … for it was the winds of Life itself.
And before man forgot, when first he chose his own way, God’s presence walked with him in the comforting touch of evening … though knowledge of God’s unwanted awareness led man in that original game of hide ‘n seek. But man couldn’t hide from Love, Who sought, among so many other things, to provide man’s newly discovered nakedness the covering of Himself … that Breath’s whispering promise of life anew.
And here we find Noah, safely at rest in salvation … with God, ever present, the breath of Himself ceaselessly passing over the earth, to restore, to make new, to breathe hope, even over the waters of His justice.
The floodwaters of my life have never rivaled Noah’s, though ‘sight’ would have me believe so, at times. But the God Who made a wind to pass over Noah’s earth, Whose presence at work on Noah’s behalf abated the surrounding waters, that One and Only God still works today. Working on my behalf. Working in the big things. Working in the little things. Not simply calming the waters, but His breath passing over them causes them to evaporate until not even a vapor remains to muddy the sod He calls me to walk.
From the need of His work of righteous justice in my life rises a healing work of mercy and grace and hope. A hope resting outside myself, outside my circumstances. A hope abiding in Him … in His presence, a presence that always breathes new life.
Come, Almighty God, cause the breath of Your Presence to pass over my earth …
[ ruach – spirit (Gen. 1:2; 6:3), breath(Gen. 6:17), cool (Gen 3:8), wind (Gen 8:1)]
© 12 January 2006
DeAnna L. Brooks
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