A POPULAR VIEW has it that what Ezekiel really saw were flying saucers.

There were these gleaming wheels with spokes and rims and things that looked like eyes built into the rims, he said, and one minute they were resting on the ground, and the next minute they were shooting up into the sky. There were also these creatures who flew around with the wheels and made a noise like thunder or a sonic boom, he said. Above them was this one creature in particular who looked humanoid, but was clearly not human and seemed to be wearing something like bronze or a space suit from the loins up and something like fire from the loins down.

Then all of a sudden from way up in the air his voice came down, and all the other craft stopped shooting around and just hovered, and, to make a long story from outer space short, what the voice said was that if Israel didn't whip itself into some kind of shape, it would be curtains.

Ezekiel didn't think he'd seen flying saucers, of course. He thought he'd seen the glory of God. And the close encounter he thought he'd had wasn't of the third kind, but of a different kind altogether. It wasn't a thirty-foot praying mantis he thought had given him the word, but the Almighty himself. So you pay your money and take your choice.

In making that choice, however, you ought to take into consideration at least one other thing Ezekiel thought he saw. It was a boneyard. There were shinbones and arm bones and wishbones and collarbones and skulls enough to keep paleontologists busy indefinitely. What the voice said this time was for Ezekiel to speak the word of the Lord to this boneyard and then stand back. So he spoke it.

The first thing that happened was a sound of rattling and clicking like the tide going out over a million pebble beaches as the bones started snapping back together again. The next thing that happened was a million reassembled skeletons pulling on skin like long winter underwear. The last thing that happened was the color coming back to a million pairs of cheeks and the spark to a million pairs of eyes and the breath of life to a million pairs of lungs.

Then the voice asked Ezekiel to tell the Israelites that—with God in the wings—even though it would be curtains for sure the way they were heading, the curtain that goes down when you bomb in New Haven is also the curtain that goes up on the marvelous new rewrite that hits Broadway like a ton of bricks.

As far as is known, nobody's ever stepped out of a UFO and made a statement like that.

Ezekiel 1-2.7; 37:1-14

-Originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words

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