Can These Bones Live?

dry bones

Ezekiel 37: 1-3

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of dry bones. And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many in the valley; and lo, they were very, very dry.

And he said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?”

And I answered him, “No way!”

And he said to me, “Whatever you say.” And he walked away.

And I was left with the bones and my faithlessness.

Many days later, he returns to me and he asks again, “Can these bones live?”

And I answer him, “I wish they could.”

He sits down beside me and asks, quietly, “Where do you send those wishes? How do they find substance?”

I kick at the dirt and reply, “My wishes have no substance. They appear before me like a wisp of smoke and then they are whipped away by the wind. If I try to grasp them or shield them from the wind, my own movements make them dissipate. The bones are very, very dry.”

Do you know the difference between wishes and hope?”

I look at him blankly and shrug.

He waits a moment longer, and then he answers for me. “Wishes have no anchor. Hope is anchored by faith. It springs from desires that I have planted within you and rises to my listening ears. It is a call for us to work together to bring righteousness to life.”

I look up at him. “How can I work to bring righteousness? I am nothing but dry bones. There is no righteousness in me.”

“I bring the righteousness.” He smiles at me. “You bring the bones.”

I start to grin. “I can do that.”

So he asks me again, “Can these bones live?”

“Lets see.” I reply.

“Yes, lets do.”

4/7/00

[photo by kaelin per cc 2.0]

amphibious soul

a startling frog

We are, by nature, amphibious souls. Our spirits journey on a path that is somehow parallel and somehow separate from the journey of our days.

So, how do we move forward in both? When I work at my desk, where is my spirit? When I quiet my soul sufficiently to hear the whisper of God, what happens to my work?

Is it love that drives the act of mercy, or the act of mercy that evokes my love? My tendency is to think that it is the spirit that moves the hand. But what happens when my spirit is recalcitrant? Is it possible for my hand to move my spirit?

I try this little experiment: I close my eyes and smile. When I do this with intention, I can feel my spirit expand and my soul lift in joy. The smile has evoked my joy.

So, if I am truly amphibious, there are two ways in: the way of action and the way of contemplation. Actually, I think James says this: faith and works are inextricably linked.

So, which comes first? The frog or the egg; the tadpole or the hopper? Maybe it doesn’t matter where I start – I can get there, just the same.

I close my eyes and smile. I cherish the second path, grateful for a way around my heart, when it is feeling churlish.

[photo by John Clare per cc 2.0]

dance of words

tumble of words

I love the gift of words.
They romp and cavort around reality, giving me a tool to see its form.
They light the crevices and illuminate the vastness of truth, stretching my mind to new horizons.
True words, words of life, bring me closer to the wonder of what is. Continue reading

Twin Paths

campfire and sparksI am seated back a bit from the fire. Around me are other travelers, all weary from the walk of the day, glad for a rest, glad to be together. We are an odd lot, tossed together by happenstance (if there is such a thing) and by the juncture in the roads. Now, nestled among the trees just off the roads, we sit together.

Those around me who are talkers are telling their stories and I, a listener, am listening. The stories weave in and out among each other and there are common themes and nods of understanding. We have opened our packs and bread has been shared. We nibble at the last of the crusts, for we are full but the crusts are good. Continue reading

buzzzz … buzzzz … slap … buzzzz

mosquito

Look at the variety of creatures on earth. That demonstrates the wonderful imagination of their creator.

– Hildegard of Bingen.

Just look at the baboon’s butt and the spindly-legged spider and the iridescent humming bird and the waterfall and the mosquito – the mosquito? Hmmm. Why would that buzz through my mind? What wonder is there in the mosquito? Continue reading