In my culture of origin, a storm is raging. Decades of silence have been broken with a thunderous roar. What was once hidden in the dark is coming to light.
It is time.
Meanwhile, I stand on the sidelines, watching and listening. The clamor is deafening. The body of Christ is, seemingly, at war.
It is hard to see. It is hard to hear. It’s difficult to think straight in the fog and confusion, and so I retreat into silence. For when voices are the loudest, that’s my cue to retreat; to sit it out; to “be still.” To listen for one Voice and to know that He and He only is God.
Walking in the summer sunlight past fields greening with corn, I am thinking. Thinking of the current situation in the church. Of detractors. Of supporters. Of what to do with each. And I’m thinking this day about walls, and about a kingdom.
This whole tsunami touches a recent event in my own life. It was a small happening that brought supporters, but it also brought detractors; those who didn’t like it, didn’t agree, and they said so. It rocked me for a bit, and set me back. It wasn’t a big deal, but it tapped on old triggers, and it invited a period of reflection.
The morning breeze carried the song of the birds, Papa’s agents of joy, as I walked on our country road, and the celestial melodies, like salve, soothed my soul. Detractors, supporters. Kingdoms and walls.
With the eyes of my heart, I saw a kingdom. It stretched as far as I could see in every direction. Everywhere, people, citizens of the kingdom, each one encircled by a wall.
The walls, I saw, were in various states of repair. Some were tight and secure. Some were in ill repair, broken and crumbling. Others were being rebuilt, and yet others were leveled to the ground. No defense.
My own wall, I noted, was a lovely stone construction. Within it, a fertile garden filled with life, light, and all manner of growing things. Looking out over my wall, I beheld my fellow citizens, men, women, and children, each one with their own plot of land. Their own walls. And there came my detractors. What (I wondered) should I do with them?
As I looked at that scene, I understood that the wall surrounding me was the inviolable dignity bestowed by my Creator; by my Knitter. I understood that for most of my life, I had not believed or accepted or understood or embraced the inviolable dignity I’d been given. I’d searched high and low and could not find it. And I’d suffered terribly in the waiting.
When trauma comes, when hard things happen. When heartbreak or disappointments or famine enters in, we can forget the truth. Lies, big and little, begin to erode faith in God and confidence in the worth that we carry, just because. One small piece at a time, the wall erodes, leaves us feeling naked, exposed, and at risk. Exposed to what others are doing or saying…in their own walls and gardens that brush up against ours. With their own, inviolable dignity.
Thank God, my wall is being rebuilt. For as I looked at my detractors who stood outside my built-up wall, I was able to say to them, “Thank you for coming. You have given me a chance to see again how stable and secure my wall is. Now, I bless you, and I ask my God to bless you.” And with the eyes of faith, I watched as a heavenly messenger escorted them out of sight up the road.
In the kingdom.
Everyone, I remember, has a story. Everyone has a garden, and a wall. Because I know that I am safe within mine, I am able to be a helper to those who, too, are rebuilding their own walls.
For Christ and for His kingdom,