Sunday, March 09, 2008

"Prairie Erth" Excerpt, and another Lenten Reflection

I'm still making my way through William Least Heat-Moon's Prairie Erth. Great relaxation to be enjoyed in small rich doses. No plot line to keep up with. People who enjoy watching sunrises and sunsets, or walking in the woods...they might also enjoy this writing.

Today's chapter is only a few pages long. I found a place online where you can read a few pages at a time.

He's checking out an abandoned stone quarry and imagining the lives and times of those who put it there...who they were, how they lived, and if any of them might still be around. He went off looking for a survivor and found one McClory Stilley, former stone-cutter...

Here, beginning with page 274 and a few more to the end of the chapter, is what I read today:

Prairyerth: (a Deep Map) By William Least Heat Moon


One of this morning's readings from the Old Testament was the chapter form Ezekiel telling of the Valley of Dry Bones.

These two readings seem to have something in common.

Ezekiel 37

The Valley of Dry Bones

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.

He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."

Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' "

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

Tomorrow is the first day at my new job.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I can tell you that these bones live!
It's a great blessing to start a new job a year short of qualifying for Medicare.
And when the commute is two miles instead of twenty-two and the price of gas continues to rise the blessing is multiplied.
Today I can say "Praise the Lord" with deep personal meaning.

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