mike lives in spokane washington and is a pastor at a spirit community called branches

A Series of Questions Part 1: Ruach (rew-hah)

A Series of Questions Part 1: Ruach (rew-hah)

It always begins with a question, doesn't it? Something that grabs a hold of something we’ve perceived as true, and puts a seed of doubt to it.

Life, in its absurd complexity and confusion, seems to constantly insist to us that what we know is never a final product. But more a place of temporary housing from which we move past as more hardship, realization, and wonder come our way.

My life has been a building construction project consistently delayed by design changes.
I think yours has probably been the same.

A lot of us don’t like delays.

A lot of us like a straightforward blueprint. An easy answer. A simple solution.

But life’s not like that, is it? It’s a constantly changing experience. And each change is sparked by…

A question. 

When a construction project is delayed, it gives us the opportunity to reform and create something new. Something better. And something more sustainable. 

It is in a question that we can begin to experience something that draws out a new idea. A new perspective. Something that changes the pulse that drives our existence.

Your life can be completely shifted because of questions. Marriages form from them. Doubt floods over us because of them. Self evaluation stems from them. 

A question is a gateway to a world yet unseen. 

Design changes to a building are not always welcome. They’re frustrating. They irritate contractors. But ultimately, in the long run, they benefit the final product that is being constructed. 

Questions are hard. They’re a pestering, nagging, nuisance that begs us to recognize that maybe, just maybe, something we’ve always seen as objective isn’t as straightforward as we might think. 

How interesting is it that a question mark is in the shape of a wandering line leading to a period? Coming to conclusions is never something that is a straightforward process. 

So it is with this idea that I want to start a series revolving around questions. This blog has been, at least for the most part, personal rants which have had personal importance to me.

But I want to offer something to you readers. A chance to think. A chance to create something on your own through the analysis of your own personal interaction with ideas and concepts.

The first of which centers around one word. 


This Hebrew word means spirit, wind, or breath. But in a more mystical sense, ruach means that which is experienced through its manifestations, both internally and externally. 

Ruach is the persistent push to recognize something beyond the black and white reality put in front of you. 

It is what causes you to cry as you listen to a particular song.

It is what causes you to laugh uncontrollably at something that, if you’re being honest with yourself, really isn’t that funny but for whatever reason speaks something to you. 

It is what gives you chills as you round a corner on a trail only to see a valley full of foliage and a horizon as heavenly as the imaginary world you constructed as a child. 

It is the tingling feeling you get when you spend time with a loved one you haven’t seen in a long time.

Rauch is not a word tied to a particular type of religion. It is a word tied to a particular type of experience.

So, with all that being said…

Here are some questions:

Where and when in your life have you encountered this “ruach”? Do those experiences happen in organized areas like churches that are deemed as “spiritual” more, or do they happen more outside of them? Why do you think that’s the case?

Feel free to comment below or journal on your own time.

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A Series of Questions Part 2: Balloons in Coffee Shops

A Series of Questions Part 2: Balloons in Coffee Shops

Windows in the Clouds

Windows in the Clouds