Photo image from David Mark – Pixabay.com
Whilst listening to a teaching by Joyce Meyer, she made an observation that went something like this:
“In order to wall others out, you are walling yourself in. Let God be your wall of protection.”
Her statement set me thinking, which then motivated me to find out what others had to say on the subject of walls. Here’s what I discovered.
We build too many walls and not enough bridges.
Before you were born,
And were still too tiny for
The human eye to see,
You won the race for life
From among 250 million competitors.
How fast you have forgotten
When your very existence
Is proof of your greatness.
You were born a winner,
One who defied the odds
By surviving the most gruesome
Battle of them all.
And now that you are a giant,
Why do you even doubt victory
Against smaller numbers,
And wider margins?
The only walls that exist,
Are those you have placed in your mind.
And whatever obstacles you conceive,
Exist only because you have forgotten
What you have already Achieved.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
“We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadnesses of life and the often overwhelming forces within our minds. In whatever way we do this—through love, work, family, faith, friends, denial, alcohol, drugs, or medication—we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime. One of the most difficult problems is to construct these barriers of such a height and strength that one has a true harbor, a sanctuary away from crippling turmoil and pain, but yet low enough, and permeable enough, to let in fresh seawater that will fend off the inevitable inclination toward brackishness.”
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
With no consideration, no pity, no shame,
they have built walls around me, thick and high.
And now I sit here feeling hopeless.
I can’t think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind –
because I had so much to do outside.
When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!
But I never heard the builders, not a sound.
Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.
(Constantine P. Cavafy)
For by you I can run against a troop,
By my God, I can leap over a wall.
“But love is much like a dam: if you allow a tiny crack to form through which only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure, and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current. For when those walls come down, then love takes over…”
Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Women of Warfare followers and visitors, let me ask you this:
- Are you building walls, or have you already built walls around yourself, which are not only shutting others out but also cutting you off from potential opportunities?
- If (like Cavafy), you believe that others have built imprisoning walls around you, are you willing to call out to God and ask him to give you the desire, energy and wisdom to leap over those walls that are keeping you captive?
- According to Romans 5:5, God’s agape love has been poured out in our hearts. Given Angelou’s statement, do you accept God’s love can penetrate or dismantle any barriers erected as a response to past offences? Are you willing to humble yourself and ask God to make this happen and allow Him to do so?
- Consider Kassem’s depiction of us as warriors. Does it enable you to see yourself as a victor, or an overcomer, despite any undesirable circumstances you may currently face?
Father God, deliver us from unhealthy thoughts and attitudes and emotions that drive us to erect walls around ourselves. Enable us to extend the hand of love and motivate us to build relational bridges. Amen.
Want to explore this topic further? The following short post (There is no safety behind emotional walls) may be of interest.
Did any of the above quotes speak to you? Please share your thoughts and responses in the comment box below.