“How often do we mistake children of God for piles of bones? Rather than become involved, we retreat, recoiling at the scene and scent of the carcasses. Yet the wondrous calling of God on our lives is to become conduits of a holy replenishment. As children of God, we’re meant to live on high alert, watching for this possibility of divine restoration in the lives of those around us. We’re called to look where no signs of life are found, where others dismiss its possibility. And we’re invited to speak life–words of encouragement, hope, and peace that embody the goodness of God–whenever possible.”
Earlier in the reading, before this paragraph, Margaret is talking about Ezekiel’s encounter with God. God says to Ezekiel “Can these bones live?” in one of the creepiest and yet inspiring scenes in the old testament. God is not only in the business of animation but RE-animation. He takes dead things and brings them to life. We see this in the story of Isaac through Abraham’s belief that God could raise his son from the dead. We see it when Elijah raises the son of the widow of Zarapeth in 1 Kings 17. We see it when Jesus raises the son of the Widow of Nain and of course his friend Lazarus. And we see it when Peter raises Tabitha and Paul raises Eutychus.
But I’ve also seen it in the lives of my drug addict friend, my friend who has had 3 miscarriages, and in my own life. We see it all around us. Hearts do not have to stop beating for a person to be lifeless…dead to living…without hope of restoration. God can step into the lives of the breathing, eating, and walking dead and fill them with new life. Zombie restoration at it’s finest. 😉
And what Margaret is saying in the paragraph above is that when God get’s into the business of restoration to life in the people around us…he often does so THROUGH us. As God breaths life into each of us, we can exhale his glory, encouragement, presence peace, and love over them. The only thing holding us back is usually our own fear or ambivalence. When we take our eyes off of our own troubles and listen…REALLY LISTEN…to the pain of another, we often can see a clear path to how we can offer life.
Look around you…who in your life is God pointing to and then looking at you and saying “Can these bones live?” Show up for the re-animation of your friends, loved ones, coworkers, strangers…and be amazed at what God can do with the lifeless.