“we call out to dry bones, ‘come alive, come alive’; we call out to dead hearts, ‘come alive, come alive.’ up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise. we call out to dry bones, ‘come alive.'”
-lauren daigle, come alive
13 Reasons Why is an “American drama series” that was originally released on March 31, 2017. i didn’t really know a lot about it until last week or so. i had heard friends talk about it, i had seen random facebook posts about it, you know how it goes. but then last week i was scrolling through facebook and randomly happened across THIS ARTICLE (please go read it right now ok and then come back to me) written by the amazing Amanda Eileen Phillips and it blew. my. mind. i read it four times straight through and immediately shared it on my facebook page.
i prefaced sharing the article by saying this:
“i have not watched the show, but did read this article and thought it was really wise and well-written. definitely something to keep in mind as we expose ourselves to things we might be struggling with.”
i just looked and that post has SEVENTY-TWO comments on it now. seventy-two. granted, a lot of those are me responding to people, but still. that’s a lot of comments about one subject. and the majority of those comments are from people who didn’t fully agree with what i was saying or with what the article said. honestly, it doesn’t matter whether they agreed or not; the point is that me posting that stirred a huge reaction.
two days later i shared THIS ARTICLE. again, please go read it. this article only received 3 comments, which was totally fine by me, as I had said “another really amazing article on this topic. not really looking to get in any friendly debates this time (pleaasseee haha!) but just can’t NOT share this.”
a few days after these articles were posted, i read an article about Facebook live suicides. my heart dropped into my stomach as i read that teens and adults alike are using facebook live to broadcast their suicides. it made me think of something mom had said to me a few days before,
“we live in a culture that is obsessed with death.”
and it’s sadly true.
from facebook live suicides, to 13 reasons why, to every crime show and true crime podcast out there, to movies like Saw, The Killing Room, and Hostel… we entertain ourselves with death.
and that is incredibly disheartening to me, because death is not something that should be taken lightly. death is permanent. there is no taking it back. there is no rewinding, no reconsidering, no returning.
death is serious and it should be taken seriously. and yet, i can’t even claim innocence in this area, because up until about a month ago, i listened to true crime podcasts every day for the heck of it, and watched criminal minds as if it was the andy griffith show. it wasn’t for research purposes, it was simply for sheer entertainment.
i am by no means saying that everyone who watched 13 reasons why did not realize that Hannah’s death was permanent, or that the poor people who have witnessed people kill themselves on a worldwide social media platform were entertained by it… BUT what i am saying is that we CANNOT pick and choose and we MUST be careful with what we entertain ourselves with. because if we enjoy watching Saw and then we post on facebook about how awful 13 reasons why is, we are destroying our platform. and that is terribly sad. we cannot, and should not, entertain ourselves with something that is so terribly serious.
i don’t think it’s a coincidence that as time goes on and on, we become more and more obsessed with and entertained by death. why? because of what Paul says to Timothy.
“but understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 timothy 3:1-5)
heartless. brutal. not loving good. reckless. lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. that all sounds about right to me. because if we truly love good, and if our hearts were like the heart of the father, how could we be entertained by something he hates?
i think the struggle i have is that AS BELIEVERS, why are we as entertained by death as the lost? what fellowship does light have with darkness?
“this is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 john 1:5-7)
all of these different thoughts led me to thinking about the story in ezekiel about the dry bones. i’ve read through Ezekiel 4 times, and this story is one of my favorites.
basically, to simplify the story: God takes Ezekiel into a valley and has him walk around, and ezekiel sees a ton of bones on the floor of the valley. they were all dry. God says “can these bones live?” and Ezekiel says “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
“then he said to me, “prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! this is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 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 ezekiel says what the Lord has told him to say, and as he does, the bones start rattling and they attach themselves together and they become covered in flesh and skin but they still had no breath in them. so God tells ezekiel to speak breath into the slain and ezekiel does and then the best part happens.
the bones come to life, they have breath in them and they became a vast army.
and that, friends, is what we as Christians should be doing.
we should be less entertained by death and more interested in speaking life. less interested in the darkness and more entertained by the light. because God is light. and we have no fellowship with the darkness if we are in him.
so let’s stop bickering over whether 13 reasons why is a good show or not, because that’s not the point. let’s speak life into some dry bones, and raise up an army of light-shiners.