From the DayBreaks archive, October 2010:
The Hawaiians have a name for those of us from the mainland who are of Caucasian descent. They call us haoles (pronounced “how-lees”). I never knew the meaning of that name until two weeks ago.
In 1778, Captain Cook became the first European to visit the Hawaiian islands, then known as the Sandwich Islands. The Hawaiians had never seen a Caucasian before, and were stunned at his pallor. They called him a haole, which means a person “without breath.” In other words, because he was so pale, they thought he was dead – a walking ghost perhaps, or possibly a god.
As I heard this story, I couldn’t help but recall the Biblical account of creation: how man came to live only when God breathed into him the “breath of life.” Our life originally found its origin in the very breath of God. “And man became a living soul.” It didn’t take us very long, however, before we found a way to “kill” ourselves – through our rebellion and sin. And, once again, we were dead – spiritually, we were haoles, without life. God wasn’t content to leave things that way however, and in writing to the Colossians, Paul said: And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. – Colossians 2:13-14
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, we find an interesting note in the text: As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. – John 20:20-22 How did Jesus give us life again? By breathing into them (and us!) His Holy Spirit!
We are not people without breath. We are a people who have been given the very breath of God. Let’s not look and act like we’re dead to anything – except to sin!
PRAYER: For physical life, we give You our thanks. For reviving our dead souls through Your sacrifice and Spirit, we rejoice! May we look and act as those who have been revived and raised from the deadness of our sin! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for this reminder of how precious and special people are to you. Help my heart learn more of the rhythm of yours! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>