A year ago, I retold this old biblical story about Ezekiel and the dry bones. Like all good stories, it still resonates with us today. This is my take on the story from Ezekiel 37.
Once upon a time, a tragic prophet, demoralized by his captors, had a dream. In his dream, he was lifted up by a Spirit and flown towards a wide field far away from his captors. In the field, the Spirit and the prophet landed together in a valley of sun-bleached bones. Together, they walked over and around, observing the sheer vastness of silence and decay.
Shocked and stunned by the bare valley of bones, the prophet was startled by the Spirit’s voice, “Prophet, Can these bones live?”
The prophet turned towards Spirit’s voice and answered, “Tell me what you know.”
The Spirit whispered to the prophet, “Tell these bones that I have a message for them. Tell them the story of how they were made, bone connected to bone, muscles, and tendons to cover them, blood and water to run through them. Skin and hair to protect them. And my neverending breath to revive them. Tell them it is time to live again.”
The prophet did what the Spirit whispered. He told the bones their story. As the prophet spoke, the bones reconnected. Their muscles and tendons covered them. Blood and water flowed through them, and skin and hair formed a protective covering over them.
The field stood up.
In the quiet, the prophet watched as the Spirit moved through the bodies breathing its neverending breath back into them.
It was time for them to live again.
Ezekiel’s story, like many biblical stories, disrupts us. Ezekiel’s life was poached by war. Everything he knew was destroyed. And, he was to be the voice of God, encouraging his people to keep their faith in hopeless times. Perhaps you feel that these times we are living in are hopeless. Perhaps you look at life and see a valley of dry bones. Perhaps you are weary from the lack of certainty and mounting tragedies around us. If so, you are paying attention.
May we have the grace, like the prophet in the field, to observe, grieve, and lament death. May we hear seemingly impossible questions, and let them rest with us.
May we feel the Spirit whispering life and ask, “tell me what you know.”
May our “contentment in uncertainty” muscles grow, knowing that certainty is not our savior.
May we all hear the message that it’s time to live again.
With uncertainty and hope,