Dem dry bones

Then he said to me, “Human, these bones are like all the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has gone. We are destroyed.’ So, prophesy and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves. Then I will bring you into the land of Israel.'”

— Ezekiel 37:11-12 NCV

Ever feel like you’re a sack of dry bones? No energy? No hope? No future?

I thought of Ezekiel’s dry bones the other day when I heard a review on NPR of “Why? Because We Still Like You,” a book by Jennifer Armstrong about the history of “The Mickey Mouse Club” show.

Annette Funicello was mentioned as the precocious break-out star of the show. She turned her childhood fame into a teen-age career in music and movies. But it was downhill from there; she starred in a bunch of Skippy peanut butter commercials and wrote a memoir, but for the most part, she’s now known for having multiple sclerosis.

I wondered what it must be like to experience the highlights of your life at the beginning rather than building up to them. In general, I’ve always viewed my life as getting better and better, but I’m realizing in my 40s, the best might be behind me (as is certainly the case in regards to smooth skin and lustrous hair).

Still, I found this quote attributed to Funicello: “The Lord has been with me throughout my life. He has never let me down.”

She’s not angry or blaming or bitter. If she’s feeling her dry bones, she’s not letting on. To be stricken with multiple sclerosis and say, “He has never let me down” humbles me. My problems, my downhill slide, dry bones — they are tiny irritations compared to hers.

The Dalai Lama recently told “Being” host Krista Tippett that he finds happiness in suffering by focusing on the opportunity that loss presents. In other words, when God closes a door, he opens a window. Or, when the ride’s all downhill, enjoy the journey, not the destination.

Lately, I fear I may have been focusing too much on that closed door. Instead, I need to be looking through that open window. With my focus elsewhere, I might be missing the noise and rattling, the whooshing of air and the opening of the ground. Bones coming together … winding blowing .. a living, breathing army standing at the ready. Giving me hope.

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