Pivoting on the visual relationship between broken chairs and broken bones to challenge us not to turn our backs on domestic violence, Stephanie Smith’s The Poet’s Chair can be seen at Sunderland Minster now until 29th March.
I am reflecting on bones, and on passages in Scripture that speak of bones.
I think of the vision of the valley filled with dry bones, Ezekiel 37, which are restored to life in a two-part process:
first, tendons and flesh and skin materialising, holding the bones together;
and then the breath of life returning; as the poet-prophet partners with God’s divine intention.
Bones, exposed to the bleaching sun, bearing testimony to hopes and dreams of a future lost, slowly returning to dust. Yet this is not inevitable.
What might it look like to partner with God in restoring the structure of ‘tendons’ and ‘flesh’ and ‘skin’ that hold bones together? A structure of support, of safe-houses and help-givers, of advocates and champions, of community that holds the most vulnerable?
What might it look like to partner with God in the breath of life returning? To love victims into survivors, and break the cycle of violence?
How might the honoured stories of our faith tradition resource us?