History is filled with walls being built to define and protect country borders. History is also punctuated by walls crumbling or actively being torn down to bring people back together.
This post is not about politics. This is about the human condition.
In our vulnerability as humans, we erect walls between one another, too. Just like the stones and mortar stacked layer upon layer to build a sturdy wall, we also build one divisive layer at a time until an almost tangible barrier lies between us. Friendships halt; relationships wither.
At first this barrier may have seemed self-protective in nature. We erect a buffer between us and someone else to gain a little personal space.
We retreat to ourselves to ponder a change in our relationship – perhaps we even give in to a good pout while we’re at it.
If we don’t sift through our thoughts and feelings in a way that’s objective and balanced, however, we soon find ourselves casting everything about this relationship into a negative jumble. We lose perspective and discover we’re in a deeper mess than we intended.
Slowly and somewhat sheepishly, we realize we’re more than a little skittish about how to seek our way out from this dark wall we’ve hidden behind.
It’s so hard to make the first effort to knock a chink in that wall…yet so worth it.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
I think forgiveness may be an underrated superhero skill. It has such a powerful impact once we have the humility to employ it. Forgiveness can squash those barriers between us so quickly that we wonder how we had built these walls so clumsily to start with.
Saying “sorry” is not just for kindergarteners to practice their social skills on the playground. It’s for ALL of us.
Extending forgiveness to a friend or loved one is not easy, but often is the first step in healing a relationship. It allows the light to break through that murky veil that has clouded our communication. With gentle strength, forgiveness collapses the selfish defenses between us. Our footsteps become lighter and we see the hope of moving forward together again.