Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

The Vision of The Valley of The Dry Bones, Gustave Doré, 1866 (Wikimedia Commons)

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
Ezekiel 37:3-5

Ezekiel's vision in chapter 37, being made famous by the popular spiritual song "Dem Dry Bones"1 is one of the best known stories in the Old Testament. It is a story of protest and hope. The oppressed people will rise again. They will wake up, reassemble and live anew. This story illustrates the great love and the great power of God, bringing a vision of the future to the enslaved Israelites.

And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.2

There are times for all of us when we need to be so awakened, especially at this time. Complacency can set in during lockdown from the sheer monotony of days. The masks we wear separates the person from the community, each bone from every other, and all bones from the flesh—the spirit of togetherness and wholeness. We will only dance again when we are reconnected, our physical bodies with our spiritual beings, and each individual with his or her wider community.

Coda: Sadly, on this same day in 2023 this reconnection has not been witnessed. If anything the disconnect between people of differing loyalties, opinions and political alliance has become more pronounced, and as a result of this neighbourhood and community disconnect our own bodies have become disconnected from our minds. The surge in mental health problems since the onset of Covid shows no slow down: anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia, addiction and attachment disorder are now commonplace. We are a species in crisis, and society is breaking apart.

1 Dem Dry Bones by civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson, bringing Ezekiel's message of hope and resurrection to a different group of oppressed people, in a different place, at a different time.
2 Ezekiel 37:14
music Dry Bones by The Delta Rhythm Boys, 1960