The blaring of horns, a compressor running a concrete splitting jackhammer, and sirens shouting out their warnings, assaulted my ears as I stepped onto the New York City street. I joined the flow of humanity navigating the narrow sidewalks and began to relax while taking in my surroundings. There was the young father holding up foot traffic as he leisurely pushed a stroller amid the trees and flowers lining the walk in the flower district. I noticed a young woman pushing a cart laden with purchases, accompanied by an older woman trying to guide her path through the crowd. Everywhere I looked, the street was lined with people, all hurrying somewhere, most with blank expressions on their faces, making no eye contact – so many people.
Looking at the blank faces passing by, I began to wonder how many of these people were merely dry bones, people without true life in them? Oh, they walked, talked and went about their business, but were they truly alive? How many desperately needed CPR, and who was going to give it to them? And in the back of my mind, speaking to my heart, came the words, “You must.”
Everyday, whether in New York City or Anytown, USA, we walk in the midst of a valley of dry bones. Just as in Ezekiel 37:4, God expects us to speak His Word so His Spirit can breathe life into them – heavenly CPR. Sadly, we often just walk alongside these dead, dry bones keeping our life-giving words to ourselves. We don’t see the people around us as we should. Is it because we can’t, or is it that we won’t allow ourselves to do so? If we saw them, truly saw them, with the eyes of Jesus, then we would be compelled to do something. The clicking, clacking and clanking of their dry bones as they walked beside us, would be screaming in our ears, and we would be unable to ignore it.
It’s time we open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. The Bible tells us we are Christ’s ambassadors, the ones He speaks through to reconcile others to Him – to bring new and eternal life to their dry bones. (2 Corinthians 5:20) We have the words of life and we must speak them. Is it scary? Uncomfortable? Awkward at times? Yes. Will we be rejected? Might we be made fun of, or worse yet, ignored? At times. But none of that matters.
Life is short and getting shorter everyday. We’re running out of time, and for that person clinking and clanking next to us, their time may be even shorter than ours. This is the moment. Share the life-giving words of God. Speak to them of the loving sacrifice, mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. Hold out the hope of the Gospel – the good news of eternal life. We don’t have to chase after or wonder what purpose we’re here for. This is it. We must speak. Time is of the essence. We must speak now.