The Soft Breath of God

Hank Mattimore
August 6 2011
Reproduced with Permission

I am convinced that there are moments in our lives when the Creator of the Universe makes his presence known by softly breathing his spirit, into a situation in our lives. I felt the breath of God last month when one of our village "alumni" gave me a ticket to attend his graduation from high school. "Bret" had only four tickets allotted to him so I felt honored to be given one of them.

Any parent who has had to endure a long graduation ceremony for one of their kids can understand that his well meaning invitation was not an unmixed blessing. Graduation ceremonies have a way of going on and on and on. I knew in advance that I would be sitting in a crowded football stadium, under a hot summer sun, craneing my neck and eyes to catch so much as a glimpse of my kid among the nine hundred graduates.

But nothing could have kept me from the graduation ceremony of this particular foster kid. The soft breath of God blew on me and I knew I had to show up for him at his significant moment in his life. Call it conscience or sense of duty or good old fashioned guilt; there was no way I was going to miss this event.

Blessed with a free will, we are faced with dozens (hundreds?) of choices every day. The nuns used to tell us we each had two angels sitting on our shoulders. The bad demon was on the left, telling us what NOT to do, while our good angel on the right shoulder was urging us to do the right thing.

Whether it's the voice of God or his angel sometimes his whisper is more like a shout. "Thou shalt not kill." "Thou shalt not covet they neighbors wife," "Honor the father and thy mother." But more often, the Spirit of God communicates his wishes for us through that quiet inner voice we call conscience. God tells us when it is time to forgive someone who has hurt us or when it is time to stand up for what is right or to be grateful for the gifts we have received, but He/She is speaking in a whisper.

Aye! There's the rub. How can we hear that soft voice of the spirit through the bedlam we have created in our modern world. I don't know. But I do know that if we do not forge a quiet space for ourselves, we will not only be unable to hear the voice of God, we won't even be able to hear one another or give our children the one-on-one attention they crave. be able to carry on a civilized conversation with one another, or give our kids the quality one-on-one time they crave.

I'm trying to put aside some time for meditation these days because unless I do, I won't be able to hear that inner voice. God knows how many times I missed God's promptings in the past but this time, for once, I got it right and was there for a kid named Bret.