When we think of walls what usually comes to mind are bricks and mortar or plaster and paint. Walls are where you hang treasured pictures or valued artwork. You put up walls to separate large open spaces into usable rooms for sleeping, working, or relaxing. You may build a brick wall around your garden to create a private space where the world can not intrude. All in all, we have important walls in every aspect of our life, from work to home.
But sometimes our temptation is to build walls in places that obscure our view of reality. The sad thing about these walls is that we often don’t realize we built them until we are prisoners behind them. Prisoners in a fortress that we truly believe is a castle to be proud of.
We cover the walls of our self made prison with pictures of everyone who ever hurt us. These daily reminders glare down at us every moment of every day. In Mary DeMuth’s new book, The Walls Around Your Heart, she points out that “Unforgiveness is the great isolator. When we obsess over others’ sins, we swerve dangerously close to preferring our bitterness to the company of others. It shrinks our world until it consists of the offense and the offender—even if the offender has no idea we’re angry.”
There is an ugly truth about these walls that we so often can’t see from the inside. We think that we are safe from the outside, safe from anyone who could hurt us, safe from anyone who might discover that we are not the person others think we are. We think we are smart to protect ourselves. What we forget in the process of walling our self in is that while those that hurt us can’t get in, neither can those who want to help us.
Even worse than that, Mary reminds us “That wall around your heart that you’ve cherished, protected and rebuilt after each offense doesn’t hurt others as much as it hurts you. It separates you from God…” More often than not, during the construction of our fortress, we made one very critical mistake. We did not frame out a door. Without a door we are trapped in our anger, unable to connect with the only One who can set us free from our prison. He has told us “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him..” but without that door what will He knock on that you can open?
The Wall Around Your Heart will guide you along your reconstruction project. Mary will show you the joy of throwing open the windows and how to add the door to your wall. You will find yourself redecorating, pulling down all those painful pieces of yesterday and filling every available space with joy and laughter. You will even learn how to build a pathway up to your door to allow others to come into your life as you begin to walk in community.
Perhaps the greatest addition to your grand new space is the presence of Christ. For He has promised that if you open the door He will come in “and dine with him, and he with Me.” Can you think of a better guest than Christ to have at your new housewarming party? Who better to lead you in the perfect prayer to celebrate your new openhearted life?
Dearest Adonai, our Father God, we humbly come to Your feet to pray for healing from our brokenness. We know that only through You can our lives be made whole. We pray that You will show us how to keep from rebuilding the walls that keep us from doing Your work here on earth. Let our lives be a celebration of all that You have blessed us with. Remind us that we are all at the foot of the cross together. In the Name of Christ our Savior, Amen
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”