I have never been one to speak up. I have never been one to share without prompting. I am not sure if it is just my base personality or the fact I had Run DMC’s “You Talk Too Much” sung to me by my brother growing up. Either way, I am not one to take charge of a conversation. The conditions have to be just right (not too many people looking at me) and the topic benign.
Ezekiel 37 is a chapter of the Bible that many of you might be familiar with. In the first half of the chapter God leads Ezekiel out to the valley of dry bones. Through His almighty power God brings these bones back to life. I know in my life when I have heard or read these verses, I have personally identified with the dry bones. I know that is why the song “Find My Own Flame” is a favorite of mine. How many of us fear that we will just be dry bones? Whether it was walking though the death of my mother or the feeling of disappointment in my journey with Christ, I have felt empty and at a loss. However, this week I was prompted in a women’s Bible study to read the verses 1 – 14 again. This time it was different. I think in the times before I had missed a major point. God’s work was done through the prophesy of Ezekiel. Ezekiel had to open his mouth. He had to be an active participant in God’s handiwork.
Since reading those words of Ezekiel, I have gotten to see how this act plays out around me on a daily basis. I have gotten to see the fruits of one friend mentioning the Homebound Ministry, with which we both work, in passing to a woman a month ago at a cookie walk. We now have a new person joining our delivery team as a result. I have seen the support given from one woman to another, both dealing with the realities of alcoholism, in the form of the words “I know you look at me with knowing eyes. Thank you for being my friend.” I have watched a “seasoned” mother tell a mother of a newborn, “Don’t think you are not doing enough for others. God has given you a great mission that is in your arms.” I have had my child come up to me with a hug saying the words, “I know you miss, Nana. I do too.” Simple words. Simple acts. But they all bear the incredible, enveloping love of Christ.
I have always been a person with busy hands. I have long had the natural inclination of solving a problem with works. Yes, I am a life-time member of the Casserole Club: “Something amiss in your life? Chicken poppy seed cures all." What I am learning, and finally appreciating, is that the words we speak out of prayerful obedience and love of Christ can be just as powerful as the random act of kindness. Yes, it makes us uncomfortable. Yes, it makes us vulnerable. But in our frail humanity, I think we can show how truly beautiful and redeeming Christ’s love for us is.
So be bold. Speak truth in love. Never hold back from seizing an opportunity to serve God in breathing life into someone’s dry bones. I will try to do the same.