I was in Winona for an overnight this week. One of the things I did was to drive up to the scenic overlook off of Highway 61. There is a small park there, and so I parked my car and checked it out. The overlook is on top of the bluffs with most of Winona between you and the Mississippi River. It was a cloudy day, and so I couldn’t see the smoke stacks of the power plant 20 miles or so up the river. Still, I could see Winona spread out before me and the bluffs going on as far as I could see in either direction.
I find places like this scenic overlook inspiring. They help me to have a different kind of perspective about my life. They also help me claim the presence of God in my life. I’m not sure what you call it when… as I was standing on the edge of the bluffs… in a bit of a breeze… with the low clouds giving just enough light to let me know it was dusk …I let out a breath so long and full that I almost heard myself say ahhhhhhhh.
When they say that something is so beautiful that it takes your breath away, I think they often have it backwards. It seem to me that the breath I let out is needed to let in the fullness of the beauty I’m experiencing. And so it’s not so much that the bluffs and the river and the wind take away my breath, as they breathe something new, something beautiful within me.
I have said many times in worship that the Hebrew word that we translate as God’s spirit can also mean wind or breath. The word is Ruah, pronounced something like ROOO…. AHHHHHHH. This has become a very important connection that informs how I experience moments like this one on top of the bluffs of the Mississippi. I believe that not only did I breathe in the fresh air of an early spring, but I also received the very presence of God who is behind and underneath and through all that is beautiful in our lives.
Keep the Faith,
When they say that something is so beautiful that it takes your breath away, I think they often have it backwards… It seem to me that the breath I let out is needed to let in the fullness of the beauty I’m experiencing.