The following is a true story. It happened just over a year ago and I am not confident I fully understand it even now. What I do clearly understand is that I was given a commission.
It was early in the morning, the sky had just started to become light with the rising sun as I partially woke and rolled myself away from the window. As my body relaxed I fell into what seemed to be a waking dream. I was a soldier being dropped with my team into a desert valley. We landed and exited a helicopter at the edge of what I assumed must have been a village at some point in the past. My eyes blinked and squinted as I attempted to adjust to the blinding brightness of the sun reflecting on the desert sands. Ruins of buildings lay strewn all around partially covered by blowing sand. In the distance I saw the black smoke of burning fires, I knew fighting had only recently ended.
I stepped away from my team and toward an ivory colored article protruding from the sands. All at once I watched myself walk toward the item and reach out to touch it. I observed my movements as if I were watching them from a distance while also experiencing them first hand. My hand went out and as I touched the object I realized what it was...the top of a bone protruding out where a kneecap once was. As my hands closed around the bone my heart was filled with a hopeless heaviness.
"Why?!", I cried in my heart, "So many lives over so many endless decades destroyed for what? What had anyone gained? For this plot of sand men and women lost everything...and what had been gained? It was all lost for nothing.". As the thoughts rolled over my consciousness I could feel more than see the countless bones buried in the sands beneath me. They seemed to stretch for all of space and time. My heart became so heavy with sorrow at the weight of the lives lost that it seemed unbearable. My eyes poured rivers of tears that did nothing to relieve the hopeless feeling building inside me.
"THEY HAVE TO KNOW HOW PRECIOUS THEY ARE!" My body jolted fully awake and while there was perfect stillness in my room it seemed as if I could feel the echoes of that plaintive cry through every cell of my being. It was a pleading and somehow commanding cry. I lay still and allowed the tears to freely fall down the sides of my face into my pillow. "They need to know how precious they are", I thought, "And how can they know if no one will tell them? So tell them."
If you do not know or have not been told. You are a living soul and you are precious. Your value is greater than you may ever know. May the love of G-d pour out on you even now and bless you to know just what you mean to him. May our dry bones come alive.