No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.
I've been thinking about fences and walls. Yes, those structures that define boundaries. It started with buying this house that doesn't have a fence for our dog. Our ever-so-curious-just-a-little-bit-naughty dog who likes to take himself for solo walks. So far, he's listened, albeit reluctantly at times, when we call him back to come inside. But we're afraid 'so far' will not last much longer. And, he deserves some time to himself, outside. Without his human family holding him back from enjoying dog things.
So, wall-type one - the fence we want - is the kind that allows my dog to see his boundaries without interference from us. I don't think of this as a restriction, but rather a 'freedom enhancer'. It isn't intended to keep anything out, just to keep our increasingly independent dog safe. Kind of like a sheepfold.
But, as I think about fences, I think about others I've seen. In Texas, we built wall-type two - designed to not only give our dogs space to run without supervision (see picture above...), but to keep outside eyes out. It was a privacy fence. We had fenced in a kind of personal retreat - no traffic movement, no passing pedestrians, tall enough to block the view in from the road, but not so tall that it hid the trees and woods that were not part of our property. Kind of like the walls of Jericho.
Then there's wall-type three. The very real kind we build inside ourselves. Not always visible, not always acknowledged - but there. This is the kind of wall that defines our personal boundaries - the kind of fence that we build around the tender shoots of our emotions, around our carefully cultivated beliefs - insulating and protecting us from the rages and unpredictability of the world around us. Holding us in while pushing the world out. This fence compartmentalizes. It separates. It protects. It blinds. All of these.
And sometimes these fences break down, and need repair. And sometimes these walls just need to be moved, in or out to redefine the boundaries of our thinking. And sometimes, sometimes they just need to be removed. Taken away because they are no longer necessary. No longer necessary to mark property. No longer necessary to keep in. And no longer necessary to push away.
I imagine heaven as a place with no need of fences or walls. Isn't that an image to keep...
Heavenly Father, thank you for your promise of salvation. Thank you for this glimpse of Your Kingdom in heaven. I know, that for now I need fences. But I look forward to the day when none of us do. Thank you for that vision.
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