Ruah creates day and night,
filling the world with delight.
Heaven and Earth sing Her praise,
showing Her glory always.
Her creation shines,
spreading Love Divine.
Ruah brings beauty to life,
lifting our spirits to thrive.
She gives us power to rise,
soaring as high as the skies.
We reflect Her grace,
shining in each face.
Words © 2019 Jann Aldredge-Clanton Music © 2019 Katie Ketchum
Did you grow up learning about Ruah in church? I didn’t. Even though She’s in the second verse of the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, we rarely hear about Her.
In the beginning “the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters” to create light and life (Genesis 1:1-2, NASB). In the Bible the word for “Spirit” is the Hebrew word Ruah (pronounced ROO-AH), feminine in form. The word in Genesis 1:2 translated “moving” is the Hebrew word rachaph, which also means “flutter over.” The word rachaph is used to describe God’s action only one other time, in Deuteronomy 32:11, which images God as a Mother Eagle fluttering over her young. The first chapter of Genesis pictures the Spirit (Ruah) as a Mother Eagle giving birth to the heavens and the earth. Ruah gave birth to all the plants and animals and people on earth and the whole universe. The word Ruah also means “breath.” Ruah breathes Her life into everyone and everything.
Songs and stories can teach children and adults expansive, loving, inclusive images of the Divine, empowering us all to believe we are loved and created equally in the divine image. “Ruah Creates Day and Night,” in Hersay: Songs for Healing and Empowerment, proclaims the divine image “shining in each face.” This song and others in Hersay are multigenerational and multicultural.
Another collection that teaches an expansive theology is Sing and Dance and Play with Joy! Inclusive Songs for Young Children. The music, biblical background, and teaching activities can be used in multigenerational settings, as well as with children.
Sing and Dance and Play with Joy! also includes a song to Ruah. Here is “Ruah, Creator, Gave Birth to Us All.”
Performed by: Katie Ketchum
Music: Katie Ketchum
Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton
Recorded at: Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA
Katie Ketchum: Hersay book cover & “She Is Materializing” paintings
Lucy Synk: “Ruah” painting
David Clanton: “Flying Woman” artwork
Stacy Boorn: photo of sunset at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska