One of the more amazing aspects of my youth was living in areas where there weren’t any walls. I’ve heard many say that building walls in housing community makes for better neighbors. My younger brother, who has a passion for understanding the immigration issue, was part of a project that saw a bigger than life size little guy have a presence on the T.J. border close to San Diego. The purpose is to have people consider the life of a little kid on the border. The end celebration of this project was to build a giant-sized table that was on both sides of the border and have a feast to celebrate the life of this little Niño.
I know that I’ve had neighbors in the past who didn’t appreciate my pets, loud parrot or groups hanging out that a block wall made it much more tolerable. Yet, I know in a perfect world where people did respect each other’s property, privacy but also valued friendship that a table is such a better pathway for the world around us! Imagine, what would happen if those we disagreed with heatedly over a real-life issue were able to sit down with me or you and have a thoughtful neutral third-party help resolve our issues how much better life would be.
I know that one of the more difficult aspects of life is be able to communicate so both parties understand the issue or conflict. The unfortunate reality is that I’m not great at listening and process another person’s feelings, views or passions. It’s so easy to always make it about me, me, me and not give a ________ about another person’s circumstances.
So, I agree that when there isn’t the possibility to have peace made between individuals that a wall will help conflict from rising to a point where harm might happen. Yet, the hope would be that we could come to a place where we can listen more, talk less, learn a lot and then purposely choose to sacrifice to see tables and meals become the pathway for building friendships that will make a community go from being torn apart to becoming safer and healthier.
The challenge, which I try to concede about and be honest, is that I’m arrogant and believe that my way is the better pathway. Those that don’t see eye to eye with me are the ones that clearly have the problem. Until I’m ready and you’re ready to see our issue with pride and unwillingness to be humble a little, then our neighborhoods will continue to have clashes over who parks on the street, the noise level past 9pm or whether my display of holiday lights is offensive.
I know that one of the key issues in life is whether I’m able to admit to my faults, mess-ups and hurtful actions and seek forgiveness not much is going to change! Forgiveness does become a way for walls to be torn down and replaced with tables or bridges. I personally tire of all the drama that fills the lives of too many where I’m more concerned about being right and getting my way.
Christmas is all about the One who was ultimately offended, killed and mocked show true love by laying down His life display an amazing love that is all about forgiveness, mercy and grace.
Let’s build bigger tables and at least see walls as not a solution to our personal problem of sin and rebellion!