Spring Breath / by maureen maniquis

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Spring is often associated with new life.  It’s that time of year when freshness appears and life flourishes in an abundant array of colors, sounds and fragrances.  It’s a time that brings with it multiple meanings of the word itself.  We can get a spring in our step as the weather warms and invigorates us toward new projects and outdoor activities.  We spring back into action after the lethargy of the cooler months.  We witness the resilience of all of nature and we smile with hope.

Living in Florida-spring often goes unnoticed.  It tends to get passed by with the mild winters moving quickly into the heat of summer.  But, this year, we have had a glorious spring of dry breezy days and cooler evenings that, for a Floridian, could bring a welcome rare chill.

I seem to find myself simultaneously in a kind of spring of the soul.  For some time now I’d been buried under a hard packed crust of lifeless ground.  My very breath was but a rote necessity of in and out, in and out, filling the lungs but never really penetrating the inner places that make a life satisfying.  I’d lost the joy of my Lord.  I’d somehow lost my connection to him and the beauty of who he is.  It took me a long time to even recognize what was missing in my daily breath, so numb had I become, so hollow.  But I began to breathe in his direction.  My breaths came in soft whispers at first rising upward to his ever bending ear.  He listened quietly as he always does when my heart is in search of understanding.  So gentle is he, like a Father who knows what his child needs, not a quick fix but a new perspective.

Over time I began to feel his breath coming in my direction.  At first, it was just a slight flutter like a ripple in my lungs.  A noticeable event if ever so brief.  I could feel a change was in the air but my senses were still in hibernation.  Soon, the ground began to soften as the moist breath of heaven fell upon it.  As I breathed in this rich mixture of love and truth, little shoots of joy began to spring up with new life.  What had seemed to be painted with a grey brush was suddenly bursting forth in brilliant colors again.

My soul has awakened and it feels so good! I thank my Lord for his very breath in me.

On this day in early spring, in the month of Abib, you have been set free.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭13:4 NLT