We were out to dinner with friends, Eddie and Jeanne, chatting about experiences in the education system when Eddie shared a story about a test that brought students to the point of fear and trembling. While Eddie pursued a degree in physical education, that path was quite similar in the early stages to Pre-Med path, so there he was in an anatomy class facing the SKELETON EXAM!
The test required students to go into a room in small groups where they faced a human skeleton. One by one they were to step up to the skeleton, identify every bone, and then step back, letting the next person do the same. The test was weighted heavily so grade points stood in the balance. Not surprising all the Pre-Med students exhibited the greatest anxiety…they had not yet learned what they called the person with lowest passing score on the medical exam–Doctor.
Competition, ambition, fear of failure had the whole group wound tight. The first group, Eddie among them entered the chamber of horrors. The professor asked for volunteers. Fervent glances sideways, followed by downcast eyes, without a volunteer, ONE of them would be chosen to go FIRST!!! Imagine all those Pre-Med students’ faces, when the Phs-Ed major stepped boldly forward. They shrunk back watching him carefully as he circled the skeleton, taking in the vast number [206 in the adult human body]. To pass with 70% meant getting 144 correct.
Having made his assessment, Eddie picked up one of the skeleton’s feet [26 bones] shook it and sang:
The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!
Students and professor alike broke into laughter. With the tension broken the exam continued. Eddie did not share his score on that infamous exam, but he scored high with his classmates and with us as we listened to the story and laughed.
Since taking my short sabbatical from blogging, admittedly because of writer’s doubt, that old scattered dry bones feeling, I have tried to step back, to decide when and if to proceed. Obviously since I am posting this, I have decided to continue. During the time, I did try to see if I could become more focused and organized….THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN.
Am I scared? Absolutely, just like those tense students facing the skeleton, I was afraid. I feel a little like Ezekiel.
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” (Ezekiel 37:1-3 NIV)
Faced with aging, God lead me to this passage through the lectionary this morning. I felt Him ask me, “Old woman, can these bones live?” I answered, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Then I opened my tablet, picked up the skeleton’s foot and shook it while I sang, “Dem bones, Dem bones, them dry bones.”
Hope some of you will join me as we shake the skeleton’s foot together.
Special Thanks to Eddie Wilson, who shared his Skeleton Story.