God's Message came to me:
"Son of man, I'm about to take from you the delight of your life - a real blow, I know. But, please, no tears.
Keep your grief to yourself. No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work - none of the usual funeral rituals."
I preached to the people in the morning. That evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I'd been told.
The people came to me, saying, "Tell us why you're acting like this. What does it mean, anyway?"
So I told them, "God's Word came to me, saying,
'Tell the family of Israel, This is what God, the Master, says: I will desecrate my Sanctuary, your proud impregnable fort, the delight of your life, your heart's desire. The children you left behind will be killed.
"'Then you'll do exactly as I've done. You'll perform none of the usual funeral rituals.
You'll get dressed as usual and go about your work. No tears. But your sins will eat away at you from within and you'll groan among yourselves.
Ezekiel will be your example. The way he did it is the way you'll do it. "'When this happens you'll recognize that I am God, the Master.'''
"And you, son of man: The day I take away the people's refuge, their great joy, the delight of their life, what they've most longed for, along with all their children
- on that very day a survivor will arrive and tell you what happened to the city.
You'll break your silence and start talking again, talking to the survivor. Again, you'll be an example for them. And they'll recognize that I am God."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)