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Archive for June 15th, 2015

We can choose to build fences and walls or we can choose to build gates, windows and doors. What are you building?

061415

One of the things I learned when growing up was how to swing a hammer and build ‘stuff.’ I can design things and build projects. I can draw plans and take it to fruition. If I can see it in my mind, I can build it. When you are exposed to so much, you can’t help but learn things. There were small projects to house additions and roofs, dog houses, shelving, cabinets, etc that I have helped with and as an adult, I have built my own projects that I have been happy with. It’s nice to have carpentry skills.

 

On the farm, we had enclosures for pigs and hogs—most were wooden fences. Funny thing about some animals, you must constantly keep a watch out for holes made by the animals either breaking through the fence or digging under it. The pigs were gone by the time I was old enough to repair fencing but there were other farms around. It’s always good to be proactive rather than reactionary. And, it’s no fun chasing down cows or pigs, horses and chickens…

 

Fences are good for keeping animals separated for whatever reason. Same thing for people. Walls are built to keep some people out and some people in. Doors are made to enter and exit but are those doors willing to allow all people entrance? You know what I am getting at. We can choose to allow people in or we choose to keep people out.

 

Several years ago I was the head of the evangelism committee which was supposed to bring people into the church. What do you do when you have a church where all people are not welcomed? People of color were not welcomed. Women who spoke up were not welcomed. A lot of sinners were not welcomed. So what do you do? I had been working on that idea and trying to change it from within for so long but people chose to judge others. New visitors were carefully scrutinized. Did they give enough? Were they good Christian people? Did they swear or drink? Could they bring more money into the church? It was a constant barrage of questions of whether people were good enough to be members like the church is only for the saintly, lol.

 

My idea was that everyone needed to become a missionary—an evangelist—because there was nothing to offer people unless we all got involved. The plan was working and then the minister’s little affairs came to light and things went downhill—fast. Things were tight and people began to be more critical. They didn’t seem to trust and have faith in what could be done. They scrutinized new attendees more closely. Where the congregation should have been welcoming, we didn’t allow people in. If you were homeless, forget it. Don’t attend or that was the mantra from the loudest peanut gallery. I was appalled. By this time I had started to lose hope and with my husband having his affairs, I just gave up. It was too much.

 

See how your actions affect others? You are an integral part of the puzzle. What you say and how you welcome other people into the fold makes a difference. You can build taller fences and more solid walls but in the end what matters is how many gates, doors, and windows there are and if they will allow people entry. Are people welcomed? If not in the church, do you welcome all people into your home?

 

If you think it doesn’t start with you then you might want to rethink. What are you building? Walls and fences, or gates, windows and doors? It matters.

 

Have a great week and may you always break down barriers wherever you go! 🙂

 

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