It is Sunday and we gather for our House Church. V. welcomes us into her government subsidized apartment. It is kept immaculately and she is genuinely thrilled to host us. We are a small group just seven of us. The folks are happy that my computer is fixed. I have a number of videos saved on it. Tonight we will be doing everyone’s favourites. S. loves a twangy country song “I Can’t Even Walk Without You”. B. loves an Anne Murray rendition of “How Great Thou Art” . I play one of my favourites Matt Redman singing “The Father’s Song”. Of course we have to play V.’s favourite, Lauren Daigle’s “Dry Bones”. For a few of us it has been a very stressful week. V.’s anxieties are triggered by the impending snow storm. Nothing upsets her more than the thought of snow! While she is happy to host us she keeps a box of Kleenex handy because tears are very near at all time. She has not slept and I fear she is near a breaking point. B. is a bit uncomfortable around so many people. She lives a reclusive life only seeing her son on most days. G. has had a bad last few weeks. Her body is breaking down and her mental illness is heightened by her increased pain and isolation. Linda and I picked her up for church. We are breaking our own rule in doing so. We are glad to give people rides home but try our best to arrive as serenely as possible so we avoid the bustle of giving folks rides, but it seems important to get G. here tonight. We know she has not been doing well.
We listen to the “Father’s Love Letter” and now it is time to pray. V. pours out her heart for about 10 minutes. She is not the only one crying as she shares her hurting heart. G. picks up where V. leaves off and in beautiful simplicity describes her need and dependence on God. We are a fragile crowd tonight!
After all the eyes have been wiped and noses blown. We sing all the favourites. There is still a heaviness in the air as I open the Bible and read of the prophet Ezekiel in the Valley of the Dry Bones. V. is keenly interested because this is the genesis of her favourite song. We discuss how hopeless ‘dry bones’ are. Dead and dried, surely these bones cannot live. These bones are in even more dire circumstances than our little community! Yet “nothing is impossible with God.” God is with us in our valleys. Though our difficulties may last a lifetime they will not last a long time!
We gain perspective in the valley of the dry bones. Here we catch the rays of dawning hope. V. thanks us as we leave and assures us she is feeling so much better. G. echoes her words. We make plans to get together Easter for dinner and a time of worship and we each go our separate ways knowing we have been together in His presence.