Bringing bones to life is something I still cannot get over. When I was pregnant, I never once consciously told my body, “Grow bones!” It just did. At the perfect time, somewhere at the end of 13 weeks, identifiable bone structure develops inside of the womb. Eventually I birthed those bones into the world and they still had some growing to do. But by then they were wrapped with sinew and muscle and skin. There is such beauty and potential in new bones.
Eleven years ago, my momma had one of her hips replaced. Only a few weeks before her scheduled surgery, she walked down the aisle before me at my wedding. Her arthritis had eaten away tissue until all that was left was bone on bone. Each step with her cane was slow, grace-filled, and another inch of pain.
At the same time, my dad was slowly becoming more ill from an infection that was making its way to his bone. We would walk a long, dark road of illness and fear as a family. I packed a bag with a possible funeral outfit tucked inside and traveled many miles to sit at my father’s bedside and watch one of my favorite humans in the world learn to drink and breathe and live again.
These three experiences shape my image of this bone to its bone scene in Ezekiel’s valley (v. 7). Which includes a rattling sound like none other, along with pain and the knowledge that something is missing. And yet, what potential waits to be.
Where are our rattling places where we are straining too hard in this Advent season? Where are we putting stress in places where we don’t need to? What potential may await us?
God, still our busy spirits so that we may rest as we wait once more, watching for the birth of your baby, your flesh and bone given to our world. Amen.