Journey of Wall-building
By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, MI, USA
Do not be fearful of one another. Respect each life journey, even in its brokenness and uncertainty, for each person has walked alone at times. Be ready to listen and slow to criticize, lest judgments be unrighteous and unredemptive. Be patient with one another, for creating sacred community is arduous and even painful. But it is to loving community such as this that each is called. Be courageous and visionary, believing in the power of just a few vibrant witnesses to transform the world. Be assured that love will overcome the voices of fear, division, and deceit. —Doctrine and Covenants 161:3b, c
The journey of a wall begins deep in the life of the builder. It never appears instantly—always one block, one brick, one load at a time. It becomes stronger, higher, longer, while effectively separating lives. Experiences common to all make up the journey of a wall, yet each wall is different, each is unique, and each has the potential to destroy.
A wife becomes disappointed with her husband and builds a wall. A husband becomes frustrated with his wife and builds a wall. A friend becomes estranged from a friend and builds a wall. A faithful church member becomes discouraged and builds a wall. Immigrants, parents, children, addicts, homeless—all are victims of wall-building.
We build walls for protection, yet slowly they become traps. We build walls on foundations of fear, strengthened by mistrust. Walls set a course for destruction.
Our faith in Christ can tear down walls. Jesus hears a faint cry for help and begins the slow steps of bringing the wall’s formational journey to an end. Slowly the builder begins to feel the love of God—love that takes apart the wall one block, one resentment, one jealousy, one disappointment at a time. Bridges of love and trust replace the wall.
Prayer for Peace
Master Carpenter, help us build foundations of love and bridges of peace. Help us build sanctuaries of our lives to include all who have need.
Gather a small mound of stones. Meditate on the stones as symbols of differences and destructive acts that continue to separate and wound the human family. Name and anoint each “stone wound” with a drop of water or scented oil. Offer them to God in a prayer for healing and reconciliation.
Today, God, I will begin to take down my walls of prejudice, one misconception at a time.