Dry Bones Amidst the Rubble

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. 2 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. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these
bones live?”

I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone
know.” (Eze. 37)

sun beats down on dusty Port-au-Prince as I follow Karl on foot
through the city. We weave through street vendors and are careful to
stay out of the way of colorful tap-taps bouncing down pot-holed
streets. As we walk on, all I can think is this: in Haiti, life goes
on amidst the rubble.

points out the huge hospital complex on our right. “Hundreds of
nursing students died there, where the tents are now.” Outside the
gates is a group of probably 40 women dressed in church clothes.
“What is that church group of women doing?” I ask Karl. “Ah yes
– they are going to visit and pray for the sick in the hospital.”
This is just one of the ways in which I’ve seen the church in Haiti
come together to meet the needs of their country.

pass the ruined presidential palace, the ruined justice buiding, the
ruined finance building…all the government buildings, brought down
by the 45-second quake in January. They haven’t been rebuilt yet; I
guess because it would look bad for the government to fix their own
buildings first, while so many remain displaced. 

arrive at our destination: where a building once stood. It was a
school, and more. Karl was teaching English here when the earthquake
hit. He and eight others escaped, and nearly 100 inside the building
died. The rubble has since been removed; all that’s left is a cracked
and filthy foundation. Karl says the pancaked rubble was as tall as a

either side are destroyed buildings, rubble remaining. Karl climbs
atop the rubble and I follow. He starts shifting something around
with his foot…it’s a human bone. Judging by its size and shape, I
guess it may be a femur. 

the clothes there, from the bodies. The bodies rotted away and were
eaten by dogs. So many people died here, beautiful young people,”
Karl says. His voice has a strain to it I’m not familiar with, even
after working with him on multiple occasions. “These bones were
probably the bones of one of my English students.” 


can’t seem to pry my eyes away from the bones. Nearby is a pair of
sport shoes. Other, smaller bones are strewn around. I can see the
teeth marks the street dogs made in taking advantage of free,
abundant meals in the months following the earthquake.

As I
look down at the bones amidst the rubble and wonder how many other
bones and bodies are yet to be uncovered in the thousands of ruined
buildings that have yet to be cleaned up in the city, I think again:
in Haiti, life goes on amidst the rubble.

passage from Ezekiel 37 that we’ve been praying over Haiti becomes
real in front of my eyes. We’ve been prophesying life into the spiritually dry bones of Haiti; as life in Haiti goes on, and the church continues to
look to God for strength and guidance in the rebuilding process, I
know God will be faithful to this country. He will be faithful to
breathe onto these dry bones so that the spiritually dead people of
Haiti may come to life in Christ.

4 Then he said to me,
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the
word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these
bones: I will make breath [a]
enter you, and you will come to life. 6 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. 8 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.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath
entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast

 11 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.’
12 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. 13 Then
you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves
and bring you up from them. 14 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.’