Love Beyond Walls.
At some point in our lives, we have built a wall. Some of us have walls that are strong and tall while others are low and thin; however the chemistry between the elements, most of us have one. Mine has been under construction for the last 20 years and I'm finally realizing that it's more of a problem than it is a protection.
For the past week, God has been telling me to love beyond walls. Initially, I had no idea what that meant but as time has passed, I've become more familiar with its meaning as I have been taking steps to move it from concept to praxis.
One day, I was talking to one of my sisters about someone that I often have a hard time loving. Through experience, I've intentionally put this person at a distance. I love them with all of my heart, but only as far as I'd like to love them. I view them as the person that has the ability to hurt me with a mindset opposite of mine. I realized that I only love this person as I see them not as God sees them. I realize that may sound confusing and I will do my best to explain.
Often times when we're hurt, we build up an emotional wall towards a person. They can only get so close to you before they hit your imaginary protection. Its like living in a huge mansion with a large gate of which you've neglected to release the code; your guest can only speak to you from a distance. They aren't invited within 30 feet of your home. We build up these walls (intentionally or unintentionally) in order to protect ourselves. If we'd rather not face a particular hurt more than once; we don't. In doing this, we often eliminate the chances of witnessing a persons growth and change while repelling their condolences. We are now loving them where we've left them as supposed to where they truly are. In my example, my friend was explaining to me that the person I've had a hard time loving all these years, has changed for the better yet I am blind to their growth because I am loving them from a distance.
We keep people at our experiences with them. And though they have the power to transcend those experiences, our mindset and perspective of who they are is often limited to our experiences with them. I even see it in church; a person can "sin" in 2012 and in 2014, they still get treated as if they're walking around with a red A on their chest. The way that we love others has been limited to our opinion of how much love they deserve as opposed to how much love Christ demands we give. Love beyond walls means that we have a responsibility to love beyond our opinions, experiences and perspective. We should not only love people beyond our own walls, we should love them beyond theirs. By no means does that empower us to force ourselves on others, it just means that we can love people past their attitudes, their bad days, and their bad upbringing that have created in them a behavior we'd rather not interact with. Loving beyond walls is what Christ did when He died for our sins. Loving beyond walls is what most parents do when they continue to sacrifice for us even when we don't deserve it. Loving beyond walls is what Dr. King did when he continuously fought for a people that may not have even realized how bound they were.
In our minds, we develop a myth that we don't have the capacity to love beyond. We convince ourselves that we don't have to, that it's not necessary or possible when in fact, we were all born with a capacity to love. Somehow we've let walls and experiences perpetuate our perspective. When you're living behind a giant wall, its easy to be convinced that you can't escape it or go beyond. Contrarily, the creator of it (you) can easily over come it. Its a choice. A choice that often leads to growing pains and pride failure. It isn't always the most fun thing to do; but loving beyond walls not only opens up a new perspective for others, it opens up a new realization of our capacity to love. Loving beyond walls is necessary for an essential life. "In fact the greatest love of all saved billions that were undeserving and unaware."
Every moment that you find yourself speaking to someone from the gate, make the choice to let them in a little further or meet them where they are. Loving beyond walls can be gradual but lets dispel the myth that its impossible to love others. Its the very reason we were created. Surely, if vacuums can operate as built and cars can be driven as designed, we as superior beings can do the very thing we were created to do.
Love beyond walls.