This One Life

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“I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.” – Ezekiel 37:14

This morning after I got the boys on the bus, I went for a walk. Then, I went to the nursing home and preached at their weekly service. The residents gather and we sing hymns with no accompaniment. Some don’t hear very well and so usually everyone is starting and stopping verses at different times. It may not always be a pretty sound, but it is a joyful sound as we sing their favorite hymns, read scripture, and share in Holy Communion.

After that, I went to a meeting with some other ministers to talk about upcoming events. Next, I dashed over to Fargo to see a parishioner who is still in the hospital on hospice care.

Then, when I got home, I went for another walk with my sons in the beautiful, warm sunshine. We talked about the highs and lows of their day and breathed in the fresh March air. “Can we do this every day, Mom?” my youngest asked. They, like most of us here in Minnesota, have had enough of cold weather and are looking forward to soaking up as much sun as possible now.

This evening I met with our church book group and we talked about the “Christ Walk” book by Anna Fitch Courie that many in our church have been reading during Lent. Most of us said we had been better about walking than we had been about keeping up with our reading. Overall, we liked the book and Courie’s reflections on walking, spirituality, and health.

It was a simple day – nothing special. However, as I walked with my boys today I thought about how it’s these simple days that add up, one by one, to make this one life we get.

Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a promise that Israel, though dead in exile, will live again in their land through God’s life-giving Spirit. I pray that God’s life-giving Spirit is granting you energy for each step, wisdom for your choices, inspiration for your journey each day. Each precious, unique, simple, irreplaceable day.

Keep Walking, Friends!


Dry Bones

This Sunday, the Old Testament reading is Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In Bible study this morning as we talked about that text, the question came up, “What kinds of situations do people face which might cause them to despair that they feel like dried, dead bones?  How might God’s Spirit breathe life and hope into these folks?”

The stories the Bible study members told were immensely moving – stories of grave loss and devastation that they or people they loved had known – but each of them also spoke about ways that God had brought healing in the most surprising ways.

You have stories like that, too, don’t you? Times when you knew the Spirit of God was bringing you back to life in ways you could never have foreseen – bringing you peace and comfort and hope when you were pretty sure those things were gone for good.

I pray for that for you today, friends. If you have a story of healing to tell, share it – because it might be just the life line someone is needing. And if today you find yourself still in the midst of the Valley of Dry Bones, feeling dry, withered, forsaken – know that I am praying for you that soon you will feel the Spirit bringing you back to life again…breathing God’s breath into your days.

God is near. Always.