Dry Bones Dancing

Zombies are popular. Pop culture has resurrected an ancient theme and sprinkled new glitter and glamor on these old, scary forms. The media has recreated a trending craze. Zombies. Who knew?

I was afraid of them as a kid and am curiouser and curiouser at their popularity now. I think it is part interest in the supernatural and part curiosity about the afterlife. There is also something in humankind that likes the bizarre, the macabre, the weird.

But in all seriousness, everyday while in Israel, I see people who look like zombies on the streets. Jewish people who move like zombies and stare back at you with empty, hollowed eyes. It is possible to see the flame of hope has been stamped out. These have been driven around the world, hated, persecuted, and killed unjustly. They are world’s scapegoat and still they are loathed and pushed to the edge of extinction, even in their own homeland.

I am compassionate when I see this kind of zombie-like hopelessness. I know the scars are deep but can heal.

This morning I reread Ezekiel 37:1-14 about the dry bones coming to life. I believe this speaks of the state of Israel being born, but there is also another meaning to the metaphorical symbol. That is the spiritual resurrection of the dead into new life through their long-awaited Messiah, Yeshua.

I wrote this poem from that passage.

Dry Bones Dancing

“But our bones are dried and hollowed, and hope is shriveled in the land of inheritance.”

“Here the God of our fathers—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—cut covenant, made promises. Here we are heavy packed already into graves and buried under the ancient rubble.”

A gentle breeze stirred the dust and blew it away. Then an icy north wind aroused and breathed upon the barren land and into the buried dead.

Next the east and west sent a whirlwind that lifted the shackles of persecution, the stains of rebellion and spiraled it around and around in circles overhead driving it into the core of the earth.

Then hot desert winds howled until the sky was thick with sand.

The wind settled, and silence steeped the silver and gold of eternal purpose.

One by one the dry bones lifted heads and arms in thirst, and they drank and desired to live.

The valley grew green and cool, and the sky dark. Thunder clapped and lightening lit the heavens as noonday. Rains poured into the parched, scorched earth. Floods rose and washed and rose and washed.

I heard dry bones crack and stumble, crack and rise. Blood and water from the mountain scrubbed the bones clean, and they gleamed in the rain and sunshine.

Empty trenches of the once dead closed and vineyards covered the scar.

Then I saw the broken forms kneel at the feet of one they pierced.

I saw dead bones, dry bones dance, dance on ancient stones, dance into living stones, dance into a terrible army, fierce with sinew, muscle, and flesh. They marched forward, forged with forgiveness, forgiveness and love in every step.

©Bonnie Saul Wilks

Jerusalem, Israel May 17, 2012

 


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