by Christine Sine
Lent is about noticing our blindness and seeing differently…maybe even for the first time. Walter Brueggemann: A Way Other Than Our Own 33)
Last week I broke down another wall in my Lenten garden. This wall wasn’t just blocking my view of the plant behind it, it was blinding me to the magnificent vista of the whole garden. Suddenly my perspective changed. I saw the garden differently and it was as though I was seeing it for the first time.
What had initially felt like a rather confined, even claustrophobic space suddenly expanded into a sweeping vista, or at least that’s how seemed. When I created this garden each plant was in its own little box, you might even say in its own little exclusive garden. Now, even though there are still a few walls to come down, I can see most of the garden and can appreciate each plant not just for its individual beauty but for the beauty it contributes to the entire garden. And surprisingly the broken wall that changed my perspective was a rather small wall. When I picked it up to destroy it, I actually thought it would make little difference, but it mattered, and it mattered a lot.
I think that this is what happens when we break down the walls that separate us from other people or even the walls that separate us from our emotions or from our inner being. Sometimes our vision is confined to the tiny fragment of beauty within our own box. We like our walls, we take pride in our exclusivity. We think we know what all beauty looks like. We think we don’t need the immigrants, the Muslims, the homeless, the LGBTQ or even the myriads of animals, insects and plants that going extinct. But until we break down the walls between us and “them” we cannot even conceive of what we are missing out on. It is only when the walls come down and we allow our eyes to sweep across the entire landscape that we are able to appreciate the beauty of another part of God’s creation and catch a glimpse of the wonder of how each part fits together to create the whole.
A Little More Will Power
Breaking down walls in my garden hasn’t been easy. I made them from some pretty hard shale. At one point I thought I would need to find a heavy duty mallet to do the job. All I needed though was a little more will power and a little more effort. And as I discovered it is often the small walls that make the biggest difference to our perspectives. I think breaking down the walls around us is like that too. We need a stronger desire to break them down and we need more effort to see it happen. And we need to make sure that all the walls are destroyed, not just the big ones or the seemingly important.
What Is Your Response?
Thank goodness God continues to work in all our lives breaking down the walls of hate, indifference and exclusivity. Thank goodness we have a season like Lent that encourages us to work on our walls and change our perspectives. Thank goodness God is slowly transforming all of us so that we can better appreciate the wholeness and beauty of what God is accomplishing.
Prayerfully consider – what is the wall that God is nudging you to work on today? What is one step you need to take to break down that wall?
NOTE: As an Amazon Associate I receive a small amount for purchases made through appropriate links. Thank you for supporting Godspace in this way.