Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dry Bones

This past week my son had to pick his favorite Bible character and dress up like him for Awanas. He chose Ezekiel, and he was the only Ezekiel at the party. I took pictures but haven't gotten them developed yet. He wore a black robe and a peach-striped towel on his head. I painted a mascara beard and moustache on him, and he toted a long stick. And of course I thought he was the most adorable one there.

Ever since Wednesday night I've had the story of Ezekiel on my mind, particularly this scripture: Chapter 37, Verse 11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

I admit I've been in a dry place--and for far too long. I've been discouraged over our hunt for a home church. It's been a year now, and we are still kicking around local churches like we were square dancing and the caller has called for a partner change. This past Sunday we decided to give the local Assemblies of God another chance. The last time we visited a few years ago there were about 15 of us. This past Sunday there were about the same. And even though we had a good service and a good message, my heart was grieving. This should not be, I told myself. What has happened here that has crippled this congregation? The Sunday before that we attended the church where my son goes to Awanas on Wednesday nights. I can't do this every Sunday, my soul whispers. This is dead and dry, and I just can't sit here and pretend I'm happy. I can't tell you how many different churches we've attended over the past year. They can't all be dead, can they? It's me, isn't it God? I'm not where You want me. But where is that, God? And why is it so difficult to figure out? And why is it that it's such a struggle?

This morning my heart is heavy. I've been going and taking my son to church, because that is what you're supposed to do. I was taught you don't miss church on Sunday. No matter what is going on in your life, on Sunday morning you get up and go to church. On Sunday night you get up and go to church. On Wednesday night, you get dressed and you go to church. I hear in my head my mother's voice, "Get up and take that boy to church." And I hear my reply to her, "Mama it's so hard. You never faced the question of where. That issue was settled for you the day Granny and Papa joined Gregory's Chapel." And until I turned 22, that was the only church I had ever known. When I moved away to another town, I drove the 60 miles home on the weekends to be there. When I married, we joined a local church and were very active there until things happened beyond our control and we were left homeless again. Again we found ourselves driving the 60 miles back to Gregory's Chapel. But my son is in school now, and we just can't do that now. You don't know what you got 'til it's gone. What we take for granted today may be gone tomorrow. And it's left a gaping hole in my heart. And in my life. And until this situation is resolved, I can have no peace.

I hear my Granny's voice, "What's important is that you go. Get in there, get involved, and serve the Lord." She's right. She's oh so right. "Just back yer ears and do it, Cin." I hear my sister's voice, " A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." I don't want to be double-minded. I need clarity. I need resolve. I need stability. Lord, grant me the courage to just back my ears and do it. Lord, don't leave me cut off. Bring me up out of this grave and breathe life in me again. I'm in this valley of dry bones, God. And I can't see my way out. But I know You will not leave me. Breathe new life into these bones God. Settle me in my own land, Lord. Don't leave me cut off.

There's way too much at stake.

1 comment:

PT2006 said...

The Psalmist said, "I've never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread." Most often this bread is referred to as food or material things. I believe it is talking about spiritual bread too. Truly, Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life." The important thing is to stay righteous, i.e. in right standing with God. He will direct you, keep your ears tuned to His voice. I am praying for you and yours.