My wife and I are renovating a rundown cottage we purchased three years ago. One of the items that ranked very low on our “to do” list was putting up a weathervane gifted back to us by my in-laws after they enjoyed it for many years. This week I finally got around to putting it up.
By definition, a weathervane is “a revolving pointer to show the direction of the wind” (thanks Siri). People typically mount one on top of a building to get the best results, which invariably draws our attention to it.
The word “wind” in Hebrew is ruach. It can also mean breath or spirit. Ruach holds a special meaning for me as it is incorporated into my surname, Rauschenberger, which I am told has the root meaning of the noise the wind makes on top of a mountain.
Why should we concern ourselves with ruach? In Genesis 1:2, it was the Spirit of God (ruach) who initiated the creation narrative, giving life to our planet. Additionally, God breathed (ruach) into mankind the breath which gives them life (Genesis 2:7; 6:17).
In John 3:8, Jesus uses the illustration of the wind to describe being born of the Spirit (born again). The word for wind and spirit in the Greek language is pneuma. That same spirit, which many of us refer to as the Holy Spirit is referred to as “the comforter” in John 14:16. This life-giving spirit abides with those who are born of the Spirit (born again).
Perhaps ruach, or pneuma, is the reason so many of us are drawn to weathervanes. They help us see evidence of the wind. Wind and spirit remind us of who we are and the eternity that awaits those who call on the name Jesus.