Learning to Breathe


My hair is clean, my skin is scrubbed, and yet I continue to stand there letting the water flow over me. I’m not ready to leave the comfort of this warm, wet womb of white noise and alone. I lean my head against the wall and let my eyes unfocus. I think about nothing. I revel in this moment of thinking about nothing.


This day, this shower, doesn’t hold tears. Just a holy awe for the quietness. An emptying of the busy that threatens to overtake.


I slide down the slippery corner of the square stall and sit. I hold my hands in front of me, palms up, like the freer souls do in church but I never dare because I’m too self-conscious and too baptist. I close my eyes and let the waterfall of healing ricochet off of my hands, splattering splotches of steamy wetness across my face.


And I breathe.


I don’t pray – I just breathe. I take big, slow, purposeful breaths. In. Out. I concentrate simply on the art of breath, the art of still. And slowly, my chin lifts. One breath at a time my chin slowly charts a path heavenward until my closed eyes are pointed to the sky beyond this roof and in my heart I whisper,


“God, are you there?”


In the silence I feel the answer more than I hear it. I feel the answer more than I see it. I feel it in every drop of condensation running down the walls. He is here. And that’s enough for now. So I stand up, turn off the water, get dressed.


And then saturated and cleansed with newness, I dive back into the deep end of dirty laundry, dirty floors, dirty dishes . . . dirty life.  And I breath in. And out.




  1. Ruth Suyamin says:

    grin….this is what I wanted to say to the power smart people last week at the festival when they wanted to know why I take 20 min showers sometimes :)

  2. I loved this post! Especially the part about your hands and how you are “too baptist” to do stuff like that in public! SO ME!!!
    Aprille recently posted..More MerciesMy Profile

  3. Beautiful.
    Kate Hall recently posted..Nakedness?, Licking, and a Gerbil (Caption This! Round 1)My Profile

  4. Ah, the peace and holiness of the shower. I believe it really sanctifies us. Helps us receive those fruits of the spirit—especially that patience. :)
    Julia recently posted..Mama Loves: Real LifeMy Profile

  5. The shower – and in later life – the car, when I’m alone. Divine meeting places. Amen. This is lovely, Jess. Thank you.
    Diana Trautwein recently posted..The Talisman: a Writing PromptMy Profile

  6. The shower, the car, the locked bathroom stall–all places I find God too. So lovely, thank you for sharing.
    Sarah Askins:Poet Writer recently posted..Dear Church: Stepmother Isn’t a Dirty WordMy Profile

  7. wow, i LOVED THIS!
    i need that reminder to just breathe. and that we don’t just hear Him, but we can feel Him, too.
    thank you SO much for sharing.
    tanya @ truthinweakness recently posted..for when you have nothing left to giveMy Profile

  8. I’m starting to think that God speaks the loudest to us in silence.
    Travis Mamone recently posted..Why I Am An A/theistMy Profile

  9. The shower is my place too, my prayer closet, my altar, my quiet place to just be. Love this!
    Joy @ Joy in this Journey recently posted..When Looking Fear in the Face Means Looking at Your DaughterMy Profile

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