In the Bible, Ezekiel is an extremely prominent figure who is shown a vision. He talks about the valley of dried bones. The prophet was mortal, just like all humans. Ezekiel also suffered from a disorder that many others suffer from; post traumatic stress disorder. Although, he lived in the sixth century, he understood just like so many of us today, that death is a part of life.
At death, our bones are evidence of what happens to the body. This doesn’t mean that we have no hope of eternal like, because we do, since the Bible tells us how we have eternal hope with God, after resurrection. Ezekiel buried his dead, where graves were a symbol of the life that once lived in the body.
Just like Ezekiel, we should all hold onto our hope of the future, but death of the body is still a fact of that life. All who live in New Orleans, considering the many cemeteries that hold the dead of those who lived there can see the graves that hold dry bones. Many traveled from other places. In Ezekiel: 37, when the prophet sees a vision, he was allowed to see a valley of dry bones. The big question was, “Can these bones live?” While these bones can most certainly live, it does symbolize Israel as a nation. Israel will come back to life from the dead.
Cemeteries in New Orleans represent a multitude of dry bones that will come back to life and while I visited one of these cemeteries, it gave me time to reflect on what death really means to me. I studied many of the graves, the tomb stones and all that it represented as I thought about the prophet Ezekiel and his vision.
One of the graves was that of a woman by the name of Harriet DeLille; the founder of the “Sisters of the Holy Family.” I found her burial site to be extremely interesting and it just made me wonder about her life and all she succeeded in while she walked on Earth as a living person. I also wondered about her death and seeing her date of death, I realize that her bones were most likely just like those that Ezekiel described. Since she founded the very school I attended, she became more real to me so I could more easily familiarize myself with what she was all about while she lived.
Harriet DeLille has a promise of eternal life, just like all the other bodies in the same cemetery in New Orleans. God gave Ezekiel the vision to help us better understand that life and death are something that we all must go through in order to find our everlasting hope of eternal life.
Many people visit cemeteries in New Orleans from many places because of the interesting history of the way they are built. Since the graves are above the ground, because the city is below sea level, it draws in people to see them. Graves seem to make people curious since it is something they fear. God takes away our fear.
He told Ezekiel to inform the newly resurrected when he 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.” Israel is a promise to God’s people. We are also given this huge privilege. The graves will open up, and just like Harriet DeLille, bodies will be resurrected and given the grand chance to come back from the dead. Our hope should be just like that of the prophet; Ezekiel. Our hope in God is eternal.