“Ruah, the Spirit, Breathes in Our Souls,” sung by Min. DeShay W. Freemyer-Jackson

One of my favorite biblical female divine images is Ruah, the Hebrew word for “Spirit.” Ruah gave birth to the universe. She’s first found in Genesis 1:2: “The Spirit (Ruah) was moving over the face of the waters.” The word in this verse translated “moving,” (rachaph) is used to describe divine action only one other time in the Bible, and that is in Deuteronomy 32:11, which images Deity as a Mother Eagle. The first word for “Spirit” in the Bible is feminine. The first picture of the Divine is of a Mother Eagle giving birth to the universe. The Spirit who created the whole universe is female. It may seem obvious that the Spirit who gave birth to the universe is female. But She’s been buried in patriarchal culture and tradition. The word Ruah also means “breath.” Ruah is the Breath of Life. Ruah breathes in our souls.

DeShay W. Freemyer-Jackson, Minister of Music & Worship Arts for The Gathering, A Womanist Church,  sings “Ruah, the Spirit, Breathes in Our Souls.” Thank you, DeShay, for your beautiful singing of this song!

Ruah, the Spirit, breathes in our souls,
giving us visions, challenging goals.
She guides us all to open new doors,
welcome all strangers, neighbors, and more.

When we have labored with no success,
Ruah, the Spirit, feels our distress.
She gives us strength to rise against wrong,
speak up for those who suffer so long

Ruah, the Spirit, keeps hope alive,
filling our hearts with courage to thrive.
She gives us grace to weather each storm,
join Her in work to heal and transform.

Ruah, the Spirit, stirs us to grow,
helping to free our creative flow.
She brings us gifts beyond all compare,
new revelations for all to share.

Words © 2017 Jann Aldredge-Clanton              ADELAIDE

From Inclusive Songs for Resistance & Social Action

Min. DeShay W. Freemyer-Jackson currently serves as Minister of Music & Worship Arts for The Gathering, A Womanist Church in Dallas, Texas, and for First Christian Church in Granbury, Texas. DeShay holds a Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School (Texas Christian University) with certificates in Black Church Studies and Gender and Sexual Justice and a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Culver-Stockton College. DeShay recently contributed a chapter to Colors of Hope: A Devotional Journal from LGBTQ+ Christians published by Chalice Press, March 2022. DeShay has performed as a solo and collaborative musician with a host of instrumental and vocal ensembles in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Texas, providing music at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, LA, Illinois Music Educators Conference, and multiple schools, churches, and homes. During their time at Brite Divinity, they served as vice-moderator for the Brite Black Seminarians student association and served on the chapel worship committee as music liaison, worship leader, and student vocal ensemble director. DeShay is seeking ordination with the Mid-America region of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. DeShay’s interests center the importance of Womanism and its influence on theology/spirituality, Black/LGBTQIA+ culture, music, and food.

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