Oct 30, 2009

Them Dry Bones

Today I subbed in a 5th grade music class. Being this near to Halloween, which most people (not I) celebrate, the song we sang from the music book was "Them Dry Bones." This is a lovely Negro Spiritual, even though they now call it an African American Spiritual. I learned it when I was in grade school. I was glad to see that it had some residual use in a music curriculum, even if the teacher who wrote the lesson plan had to tie it to Halloween to do so.

The slaves, picking cotton, were in a bad situation. The cotton, in its pod, hurts your fingers to pick. Their fingers, when they were done, were surely cut, bleeding, and in pain. The slaves had, as do we all, every day, 3 choices:

1. Change the situation.
2. Get away from the situation.
3. Change the way you feel about the situation.

They could not escape lest they be killed. They could not change it, as they could not change the heart of the slave driver with the whip. All they could do was change the way they feel, so they held strongly to their faith.

They were probably not given off Sunday mornings to go to church, so they brought their "church" or their spirituality with them out in the cotton fields. "Them Dry Bones" is a song about the prophet Ezekiel, who was calling those things that be not as though they were. He commanded the dry bones to get up and walk, and muscle and sinew came upon them and they walked.

He didn't look at the bones or think a thought. Ezekiel SAID to the bones, "get up and walk." Words have power. The power of life and death is in the tongue.

What positive power will your words bring forth today?

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