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. (EZEK. 37:2)
There is a stark difference between light and darkness. The problem is what lies between: a thousand shades of dim. Rarely is the shift between light and darkness a dramatic one. It is a long process of slow and subtle dimming. We so quickly adjust our eyes to the slow dimming of the lights we can hardly perceive the change happening around us . . . until it’s dark. We want to think we would recognize the darkness, but by the time it’s dark we can no longer see. The problem with this process of dimming is the way it seductively brings on the blindness of sleep.
This is the valley of dry bones. It is a bed for the sleep of darkness. Entire nations and cultures can become blinded by the darkness through the slow dimming of the light.
Again, the great temptation is to believe that the blinding darkness is all out there in the valley of dry bones. We can walk back and forth among them for years, surveying the desolation and desecration of what once was. We can lament the loss of days long past. We can invoke our anger, lash out at the darkness, and cast blame for its shadows. Or we can awaken to the reality that this dark, dry desert has permeated and infected us too with the slow sleep of complacency.
The only way to resist the temptation is to invite the searching light of the Holy Spirit to survey the valley of our own souls. Darkness and dryness are only a problem to the extent we can’t perceive it; to the degree we aren’t asleep to them.
PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER
Come Holy Spirit and illumine us. We are so used to who we are and how we are that we aren’t clear about what’s true and what’s not. We don’t know what we don’t know. And we cannot know ourselves apart from your soul-searching light. Turn on the lights and reveal the dryness in our lives that we might learn to seek you more truly. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What keeps us from being completely honest with each other about the quality of our souls?