Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Breath of Heaven for Me

Every year, around this time, one Christmas song stands out in my mind. I find myself humming along to it in the stores, and getting all teary-eyed when I hear it on the radio. It touches me in such a deep and meaningful way. Each year I desire to sing it in church, but talk myself out of it because of the lyrics. You see, the song I'm talking about is "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant. The song is sung from Mary's perspective, as she carries the babe to be named Jesus — the very Son of God we worship to this day.

Even though the song means so much to me, I was unsure of singing it because I'm unable to have children. Some of the lyrics go:

"I have traveled many moonless nights,
Cold and weary with a babe inside,
And I wonder what I've done.
Holy Father you have come,
And chosen me now to carry your Son."

Would it be distracting for listeners to hear me sing the song, since they know I'm a barren woman? Would they say I have no idea what it would be like to carry a child?

But this year I decided not to worry about what others think, and just sing the song from my heart to God's ears. You see, I do know what it is like to have Jesus living in me. I may not have carried Him to term, but I do know His indwelling Spirit. It would have been a miracle for me to have been with child. But wasn't it also a miracle for the virgin Mary to carry the Christ-child? And isn't it a miracle when each one of us receives the gift of His presence in our lives?

So now I sing the song with even more humility and more worship than before.

"I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now. Be with me now."

Who hasn't felt intense loneliness? Only the presence of Jesus strengthens us when we feel we journey through this life all alone.

The chorus is sung several times in the song. It says:

"Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven,
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.
Breath of heaven."

The final verse says:

"Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place,
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me."

This Christmas, my prayer for you is that you have experienced the Breath of Heaven in your own lives. May the miracle of Christ living inside us draw us even closer to the Heavenly Father above.

Merry Christmas!
Kathy Carlton Willis
Living Out Loud Communications

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