Throughout the land of Israel and its neighbour Jordan, I saw many broken walls. It was the first time I had seen so many. Some are remnants of war; others are simply the result of decades and centuries of neglect; still others are testaments to a past that cannot be completely destroyed. The outward image perceived reflects an inner life of so many untold stories of devastation, pain, survival, and hope.
The picture of broken walls seems to me one of mourning the loss of security, refuge. My mind and heart fills with pictures of shanty towns and lean-tos desperately constructed with hope of creating a place to call home in a place where “home” – a dwelling in which I belong, filled with safety and peace – is almost completely foreign. How can this be reality for so much of the world? My heart cannot comprehend.
When I pull back the piece of cloth draped across the doorway in my mind’s eye, I am greeted by families with beautiful faces and hearts in need of love just like mine. I don’t know their stories, but oh how I wish I did. How I wish I could tell each family in pain and need that Jesus is in love with them and that He is close. How I wish I knew how to “visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world” (James 1:27 AMP) so that my thoughts never returned to my selfishness but instead always turned to “Jesus, how can I show Your love today?” How I wish I could repair all the broken walls of the world so that I may provide just a small glimpse into the redemptive and restorative heart of God.
Tears come easily when I remember with deep thankfulness that He knows their names, their every thought, their tears, their pain, and He is at work to bring His Kingdom here.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Isaiah 58:6-12 NIV