I love looking at things in new ways or finding meaning where none existed before. Such was the case when David, a friend of mine, shared with me what he learned about one of the brick walls in our church.
As we stood looking at the wall, he explained that years ago when the church was being renovated, by the time they got to this particular wall, they had run out of “good” bricks, so they used leftover, imperfect bricks that were a collection of three different styles. David pointed out some of his favorite bricks, and I found myself looking at a wall that I had leaned on countless times in a brand new light.
With fresh eyes, I looked at the misshapen and incomplete bricks. Their voids were filled with mortar that created a strong bond. It may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing wall, but it served its purpose wholly. (Yes, pun intended.)
If you read my blog with any regularity, you know that this kind of realization really revs my analogical engines.
The perfectly solid wall made with imperfect bricks.
What a powerful analogy we can draw to ourselves and our world. That we, as broken, incomplete, damaged “bricks” can still be just as strong—especially when we let the mortar—Love—surround us and bond us together. For me, the Love is Jesus. His love and grace makes my broken, flawed self able to be a part of the Love wall. And his model of loving all people wholeheartedly teaches me how I should love all “bricks” as he does.
I am hesitant to stick with the image of a simple, linear wall. This is not a wall like Donald Trump envisions—one meant to separate and divide—but rather quite the opposite.
I learned something I’ll never forget from a pastor I had the privilege of listening to. She wanted those who are intent on drawing lines of righteousness about any number of things—be it sexual orientation, faith, ethnicity, or whatever else they can see as “otherness” in order to judge who is righteous and who is not—to know that any time you draw a line…or build a wall…Jesus is on the other side.
So think of this wall as an integral part of a larger structure—coming together to create the beautiful framework of our world.
My Love wall—with Jesus’ Love as the mortar—welcomes all bricks. It doesn’t let them be a part of the design only once they change themselves so that they appear like the others. All belong. All have worth and purpose. It knows that no brick is perfect—despite what many bricks might think. It doesn’t turn any away and say that they’ll be a part of another (lesser) wall, but don’t worry, there’s Mortar for you, too—just not with us.
My love wall knows that Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love.
Jesus told us that the two greatest commandments are all about love: Love God, love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-40)
The song says “they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
But if you asked anyone/someone what is the first word that comes to their minds when they hear the word “Christian,” do you feel anywhere close to confident that “love” would be the response?
Sadly, I don’t. Too many “Christians” are not known for their love.
Some say that Christian “civil rights” are in jeopardy because Christians feel that when they state their beliefs of right and wrong, they are accused of being hateful. Um…Westboro Church anyone? Pat Robertson’s comments on Orlando? Self-identified “Christians” tweeting “righteous” tweets about the massacre?
Perhaps it is because the overwhelming feeling of what Christians—or those who label themselves such—are consumed with is judging, condemning, and pushing for laws that discriminate or dictate what happens to women’s bodies.
This is what is speaking loudest to the world.
But can you imagine what would happen if all of that time and effort was instead put toward love?
That’s how Jesus spent his time on earth.
It’s time for the Lovers to speak louder and act bolder.
I am grateful that Jesus’ Love is mine, and that my imperfect brick self is surrounded by it and bonded together with other imperfect bricks.
That Love is for everyone. Everyone. And it doesn’t require our blessing.
But imagine how much further that Love could reach and how many more could be surrounded by it if we, rather than trying to decide who gets it when, helped spread the Mortar generously and freely.
That would—could—really be something. It is most certainly what the world needs now.
ALL PHOTOS ARE MY OWN OR USED WITH PERMISSION.
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