“When I breathe in, I breathe in peace; When I breathe out, I breathe out love.”
We know these as words of “Meditation on Breathing,” song #1009 in our teal hymnal supplement. They are the chorus to a larger piece, titled “When I Breathe In,” (© Sarah Dan Jones, 2001) written in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
I don’t recall ever hearing the whole song, so I looked it up. The first verse refers to “one long day of terror,” referring to the attacks. The other two verses are more general, and perhaps are what we need as our news media serves us images of protests and threats of sending the military into our cities. Here are those verses, which I find uplifting and grounding:
At times I feel bewildered, like I’m lost in a dream.
I search for hope in the meaning of truth
as I close my eyes and I focus on peace.
Fear’s a heavy feeling. It can eat you alive.
But it can’t run, and it can’t hide.
If you breathe these words, then you know that you’ll survive:
When I’m feeling hopeless and out of control,
I clear my mind as I think on a cure,
and I center in as I make love my goal.
Is war really an answer? Can we find those to blame?
All we’re saying is “Give peace a chance!”
And I pray to God as I sing this refrain:
Thank you for being here, for being part of this Fellowship, and for staying connected! I love you. You are beloved and precious. We will get through this. Keep breathing and stay safe, everyone.
Rev. Lori Hlaban