Take a bicycle ride through neighborhood streets around us and you will witness the power of wind and rain. The streets are closed in on either side with yard debris and piled up materials that were once part of houses’ front porches, patios and roofs. Many trees leaning, uprooted and snapped off above ground are common and yet to be cleared. Entire roofs and portions of roofs are tarped over till repairs can be made. And we were blessed.
Wooden privacy fences were particularly vulnerable and many, many of them were blown over. As I looked past where the fences were into the back yards I almost felt like I was looking at something that was none of my business. After all, had all these folks not put up these fences for the purpose of separating themselves from the view of others? And yet at the same time I was looking, curious about what they had there, behind their walls.
We all like our privacy but is it possible that the desire for privacy evolves into a desire for escape? Can we start building our walls too high?
A big wind comes and blows our wall down and we can either see fearfully all that has been lost or we can see that the world is much bigger than our little back yard.
In that world we discover other people and the barriers that kept us from talking are gone because there we are, standing out in the open on the common ground of shared difficulties.
So for a time we see others and know our neighbor and there is a new fellowship.
Where do we go from here? Do we clean up our yards, fix the broken things and put our fences back up?
When we put our fences back up do we revert back to the old ways, closing ourselves off from those random, new, different others that God crosses our path with? Do we go back to being so rigid in our routine that there is no flexibility in the plans and purposes we have made? Do we become so set in the knowledge that we have that we cannot learn something new, correct something not right and start anew?
Maybe when we are putting up those fences for privacy we should build in a section that is low enough that a person standing on one side can look at the person standing on the other side as they talk to one another. Maybe a couple easy to open gates should be set in place so that those outside are not rejected and those inside are not imprisoned.
The storms will never stop. May we be the better for them.
Father, bring to our remembrance that we are Your creation, possession, servants, Your children, Your bride in covenant with You.
May we remember that You are Yahweh who brought us out of the house of bondage with all its high fences, in power and in love.
We are not entities unto ourselves and Your purposes and ways are to be ours.
Every day as we walk with You and when Messiah returns, may we be found living in faith and faithfulness to You as we promised to.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.