Connections; Key Along the Way…

ConnectionsTree

Ezekiel connected dem dry bones,
Ezekiel connected dem dry bones,
Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones,
Now hear the word of the Lord.

Toe bone connected to the foot bone
Foot bone connected to the heel bone
Heel bone connected to the ankle bone
Ankle bone connected to the shin bone
Shin bone connected to the knee bone
Knee bone connected to the thigh bone
Thigh bone connected to the hip bone
Hip bone connected to the back bone
Back bone connected to the shoulder bone
Shoulder bone connected to the neck bone
Neck bone connected to the head bone
Now hear the word of the Lord.

Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around.
Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around.
Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around.
Now hear the word of the Lord.

—“Dem Bones” by James Weldon Johnson

Connections are vital for all living things. Our connections to people, places, and things often have great impact on our decisions and choices as we journey through life. Sometimes this can be a good thing, leading us to greater union with the Divine. Other times it can be a bad thing, pulling us away or clouding our vision from that which would lead us closer to God.

Whether someone of great experience or someone just starting out on her or his spiritual journey, like Ezekiel, we can all find ourselves in a valley of dry bones. It can be within us or around us. No matter how advanced we are—or we might think we are—if we are being honest, none of us are immune.

What exactly are dry bones? To me, dry bones are bones that cease to be aware or to be open to experiencing or learning something new. Dry bones shut out and close down. But dry bones are not hopeless or beyond repair. The choice is theirs.

It is only through slowing down and taking a closer look that we are able discover which connections are helpful and healthy, which might require some work, and which ones may be faulty or have become blocked and are no longer life-giving. None of this is possible though, without the most important part, listening, and the most important connection, “Now hear the word of the Lord.”

Bones full of life, rooted and strengthened or renewed in God, remain hopeful, see possibility, and recognize importance in both the big and the small. Bones full of life know that no connection is wasted and that each one holds something sacred. “Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around!”

*The above is adapted from a post that I wrote for Spiritual Directors International’s blog and that was published on April 20.

 

 

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