CHURCH LIFE

When God Breathed Life

Conferences Arizona When God Breathed Life

By Kingsley O. Palmer

Kingsley O. Palmer is assistant to the president for Regional Ministries for the Arizona Conference.

In today’s pandemic-ridden, globally erratic, and unsettling times, we are confronted by an idea from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Sadly, that idea does not resonate for many when it comes to doing justice, loving mercy, and walking lockstep within God’s love (Micah 3:6).
“God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul!” (Genesis 2:7, MSG).
Picture God as He kneels in the dirt and shapes a man from the dust with His own hands. He then blows breath into his body and man breathes, man lives, man exhales. God is love! From that bended knee, He forever cemented His bond with us—love undiluted, unrestricted, and unrestrained.
As a freshman attending Oakwood University, I recall sitting in dorm worship one evening with my head bowed, many things going through my mind.
And then, like an unexpected answer to an unspoken question, a young man began to sing. I listened carefully, and I never forgot what I heard:
“Here’s my hand, don’t take a look at it, for if you look at it you may not see, what kind of man you’d like a friend to be, who may live inside of me.” Then came the hook, “What color is love?”
Surprised and unsettled by the paradox of that unforgettable message, I was left feeling comforted yet disturbed to this day. I’m comforted by the fact that the God of the dust from which we all came still is love. Yet I am disturbed by a reality I never chose to live in but must endure.
What’s love got to do with it? And where do we go from here? The story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 gives us a clue.
A beaten up, abandoned man lies in the road, struggling to breathe. Somebody dares to stop to help. No questions are asked, no names are mentioned, no queries are made about what kind of neighborhood or country he came from.
Even in death, Somebody found the time to reach out to the thief on the cross and the centurion standing by, because He loved them both.
Maybe it’s time to get off the ventilator and reconnect to the God who breathes.

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