One of the best decisions we made when renovating the Rectory was to knock down three walls. Now I can sit in my prayer chair in the very front room and see all the way through the house to the back yard. From the front of the house, I can watch a bevy of colored birds in my backyard feast from the bird feeder; I can enjoy them snacking on my sunflowers which seem to grow with especially happy abandon this year.
I never imagined that removing walls could make such a difference. I see beauty that I never saw when the walls blocked my view.
My wide open spaces have made me reflect on other walls we build to separate us from others.
I’ve thought for some time that building a wall along the border between the US and Mexico seemed silly. It feels like an awfully expensive way to make us feel safer–with little actual effect on security. My research has indicated that there are better and more efficient means of keeping our borders safe. Since we aren’t proposing a wall built between us and Canada, I wonder if the US–Mexican wall is more about separating us from people who look and speak differently from us.
As I watched and read this past week’s news, it appears right now we may be in more danger from American citizens who want us only to welcome folks that look like them. What wall keeps us safe from that separatism?
I’d personally rather spend wall money on health care for those of lesser means, especially women, children, and those of riper years. I’d rather make Texas known for it’s excellence in public education. If we must build something, why not improve our bridges and roads? That’s just a start of my instead of a wall list. Some might say that I am veering into politics, but these ponderings are my response to those five baptismal vows I get to re-up on nearly every month during worship.
Here’s a small way I’m living my baptismal covenant: I’ve begun to knit a 40 inch wall. It will become part of an art installation in Chicago at the Smart Museum of Art. Knitters, quilters, crocheters have been invited to create forty inch squares for something called The Welcome Blanket Project. The curators are hoping to receive 3200 squares to represent the proposed 2000 mile wall between Mexico and the United States. After the exhibit, the squares will be given as blankets to refugees that are allowed entry into our wonderful country.
Every stitch in my 40 inch square is a prayer. I’m praying for God’s loving kindness and hospitality for us all. I’m imagining walls coming down. I’m imagining us all seeing the beauty in one another that we miss when walls block our view.