"After forty days, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made." - Genesis 8:6
I can only imagine how exhilarating that moment must have been. Noah has been cooped up in a big boat with a lot of smelly animals (and people) for a very long time. It's raining cats and dogs outside, while the camels and geese and mongooses et al. are assaulting Noah's five senses in ways that only a pig farmer from the Midwest could appreciate.
Suddenly the rain stops and Noah bolts through the pens and roped-up animals, avoiding bites and scratches as best he can, and finds his way to a small portal where he sticks his head out, basks in the sunlight, eyes closed, chin raised, breathing deeply the fresh air. This is a moment that erases the boundaries between the physical and spiritual. God's ruach, God's breath, is present with Noah like never before.
As I write this we are having new windows installed in our home. The old windows were either nailed shut or stuck due to occasional paint jobs through the years. In the five years I have lived here, not once have I been able to open a window and breathe air that has not already been "conditioned" by a large machine that resides in my basement. Today I open my windows, even as the temperature escalates beyond 90 degrees, and reclaim my status as a child of nature and as a child of God. Today I experience the freshness of God.
Open your windows today, both of home and soul. Take a long, deep breath. The storm is over. Dry land is on your horizon.
God of rain and dry land, may your wind lead us home, may your breath fill our lungs with pleasant odors, and may your spirit offer us a new and hopeful future. Amen.
Jimmy R. Watson is the Pastor of St. Andrew United Church of Christ, Louisville, Kentucky.