29 October 2010

On Walls Received and Walls Toppled

Greetings Dear Reader,

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall – Robert Frost

Recently I have written about the vital nature of not excluding others. I have vowed within and to those I give account to live this truth. There is a strong price to be paid in pain when we reject those who God places in our path. Sometimes there is pain in the offing if we interact with those who have harmed us. That alone is not reason enough to avoid them.

I have pondered for months the fact that I am to seek to live peaceably with all men. That pinprick at the back of my head said that I needed to stop pondering and fall on my knees. So screwing my faith to the sticking place I agreed to meet with someone who’s every memory, both bitter and sweet holds pain. I had put in place a wall I needed to tear down. I sought to wall out the pain, but in doing so I risked walling in bitterness. In seeking to protect myself I was withholding love, kindness, and grace from someone I truly love.

I understand more deeply than ever why Christ wishes us to always forgive, always show grace, always love. I say this from a sense of shame rather than pride. It is so obvious that the beauty and life that we first see in others gets buried by years of anger and bitterness. Even if we think we are getting along, if we have not truly forgiven and are not seeking the good of others at any cost, we are masking the face of Christ in the other person.

Whether it is fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, or husbands and wives we wall off parts of ourselves to protect our hearts from pain and sorrow. It always fails because the pain and sorrow is what we wall in and like a rabbit fenced inside the garden it nibbles away at the best of us even while we sleep. Not until we tear down the wall can we release the pain. Not until we become vulnerable to all who Christ puts in our path can he use us as he wills.

I know that I cry out about my hurt and pain when Christ compels me to risk all in showing love to someone whose very presence causes me pain. Christ commands me to love without limit. He commands me to constantly show grace. He commands me to be known for my love by others. How can I not when I have harmed him so many times and yet he still does all this for me. His yoke, his cross, and his path are all mine to bare, carry, and walk if I am willing to stop turning my back on his promise of sustenance along the way. The way home is dangerous and painful but Christ has armed and armoured me for the journey.

The many loves, you’ve gained and lost
Your deepest hurts
The many times you’ve turned your back on God
Who loved you first
And now the love of God will fall on you
And he’ll show you the way
To get back home – Odin Fong

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a home owner. He brings new and old things out of his treasure store."

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