“Breathe in Life, Breathe out Love”, were the words gently uttered to me by a stranger I met two days ago.  I was in a very relaxed state of mind when I heard these words, which is why perhaps they caught my attention.  On any other day, they may have passed over me like so many comments people make while I am too busy focusing on my errands and missions to accomplish.  Do you know what I mean? We have brushes with people each day and never know the impact they could have on our lives, good or bad.

If you are like me, you may always be on guard in anticipation of people who may not have the best intentions towards you or your family.  We see it on the news every day, stories of people being taken advantage of or harmed when they are caught off guard.  We don’t want to think that this is the type of world we live in, but it is the unfortunate reality.  Two days ago I heard the calming words, “Breathe in life, breathe out love”, and yesterday the shocking news rang out across our country about the horror and tragedy of the  elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  Even small, seemingly secure communities, are not exempt from harm.

I imagine you are wondering what these two things have to do with each other. I heard the words, “Breathe in life, breathe out love”,  from my massage therapist who was coaching me to keep breathing, while I was  grimacing from the pain he was erupting in my back.  As I reflected on those words, and did my best to obey them, I realized that we have to breathe to live.  We breathe in life, all of it, the good and the bad, whether we want to or not.  It just happens to us.  Invited or uninvited. As long as we live, we don’t have a choice, but to breathe in life.  However, we do have a choice to breathe out love.  We can breathe out anger, bitterness, envy, and hate if we choose.  But with God’s help we can breathe out love.

We have to take all of life in, but how much more beautiful and peaceful would society and this world be if in spite of everything we have to take in and endure, we choose to run it through our faith filter, and breathe out love?

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