Breath of Heaven

I did something today I haven’t done in SEVEN YEARS. I sang a solo. Granted, it was “only” at church, but it has been so long, I kind of need to start slowly.

I ended up singing one of my favorite songs, “Breath of Heaven,” by Amy Grant. I’ve sung this song at church since I was a teenager and it has always held a lot of meaning for me. Every year around Christmas, I get very caught up thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Perhaps it is my empathy, but she is a very rich and real person to me. I take some time to reflect on what an amazing story she has, because really, it is amazing.

Historians estimate her age in the early teens when she is visited by an angel and told she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, though a virgin. Can you even imagine? I remember what I was like at 14/15/16 years of age. Who can say, at that age, how they would have responded to a visit from an archangel who tells you that you are going to be pregnant outside of wedlock to a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit? Whew. That’s heavy. She had to be scared and uncertain. Joseph, equally as distressed by the fact that his bride-to-be is pregnant, and he hasn’t had sex with her, has his own angel visit to tell him it’s ok. Even so, you know everyone’s talking about it and misunderstanding the whole situation. Not so much now, but back then, there was a lot of shame associated with out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

Then, as she’s about ready to pop, she has to travel on foot or by camel/donkey a long distance and then ends up giving birth in a stinky barn around a bunch of animals. As I think about that, I think of women (incl. myself) who are in their 8th and 9th month of pregnancy. It’s REALLY uncomfortable. I hated riding in a car that far along, much less be bounced up and down on a donkey or walking.  I just find the whole story…Wow!

As you go through the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, take a few minutes to think on the little teenager who carried a huge burden. I think about her when I need some perspective.

Here are the lyrics to the song…

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

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

Breath of Heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of Heaven

Breath of Heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me, your holyness
For your holy Breath of Heaven
Do you wonder
As you watch my face
If a wiser one, should of had my place
But I offer-all I am
For the mercy-of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me


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