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Breaking Down Fences

Blessed are the peacemakers

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What a heart knows by heart—is what a heart knows.

And one night in the dark, my heart kept pounding out the memory of the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the peacemakers—for they will be called children of God."

If I didn't live peace—then whose child was I?

I had to get out of bed. Had to change things. I tapped out an email to a person whose words had bled me open that day. My fingers trembled. I sent an invitation to dinner. Not a rebuttal, not an explanation, not a defense. I invited their whole family to come over and sit across the table. Instead of having a break down or breaking fellowship, I asked if we could break bread.

When I saw their responding email, I closed my eyes and I prayed hard and I was shaking scared when I opened their words because you don't know when a fence might be built up or torn down.

I read the words there on my screen:

"I want to send you an apology . . . Something happened inside of me when I saw your name in my inbox.

I had neglected to remind myself—that you are a real person and, not only that, but a sister in Christ.

I can't deny that somewhere in my mind lurks this insider and outsider kind of thinking which somehow encourages me to extend greater courtesy to one group than another."

I put my hand on the screen and laid my head down on the table and I cried.

The Body of Christ has a thousand angry opinions, a thousand fractions and divisions and circles, all these cliques of circles, all these walls. But none of us are not broken.

And acknowledging our own brokenness is what makes high walls between people crumble. Because when you are broken—it's always your pointing finger that is broken. You can't point at anyone else anymore as the only sinner.

Brokenness breaks us from our need to be "right" and breaks us open to our need to extend the grace we have been given.

Is Christ divided?

Puritan Richard Baxter in his work The Reformed Pastor brazenly wrote:

"He that is not a son of Peace is not a son of God. All other sins destroy the Church consequentially; but Division and Separation demolish it directly . . ."

Division and separation demolish the Church directly. If you want a field to yield, you have to tear out the fences.

We are the women who take seriously enough the commandment of the Last Supper to love one another that we invite someone to our table from the other side of the fence. We are God's children who break bread together to break down walls.

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Today's Christian Woman
Breaking Down Fences