In the book of Ezekiel, God takes the prophet to a valley of dry bones. As Ezekiel walks around all he can see is bones, just dry bones. It seems to be a lifeless place, a place far removed from hope.
Maybe we too know something of valleys of dry bones, places in our lives, or in the world, where death seems to be winning and hope seems far off. It’s places of war and disaster, pain and grief, sickness and suffering. It’s the place none of us want to be.
But in that place God asks Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” God doesn’t ask if it’s likely or even if the future looks promising, God doesn’t ask for probabilities and percentages, and perhaps best of all, God doesn’t ask how Ezekiel himself is going to get out of such a valley.
God simply asks, “Can these bones live?”
In her poem, “the answer is yes,” Rev. Sarah Speed writes,
It’s the question we ask at the end of our rope,
when the storm is raging,
when the monsters under the bed have introduced themselves.
When everything around us seems to be on fire.
It’s the question we ask when hope slips through like sand in a bottle,
when the mockingbirds stop singing,
when the news reporter leads with another mass shooting.
It’s the question we ask when the depression moves in,
making herself at home, making a mess of it all.
It’s the question we ask
when we’re not sure if Easter will come.
Will it be Lent forever?
Will the sun ever rise?
Will this hope lead to something?
Can these bones ever live?
Can these bones live is a question of possibility.
Because maybe what God wants Ezekiel to know, what God wants us to understand, is that even where death seems to reign, even where hope seems to be lost, there is always possibility.
Grace and peace,