Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Wailing Wall

In Israel there is this stone barrier that separated the Jews from their hearts. The wailing wall. It was a place that signified the separation from their temple to their God. They had been banned. During the reign of Constantine I, the Jews were apparently aloud to come to this wall once a year to grieve the fate of their people.

I read about that in my church history book and it is printed in black and white, written like a textbook for anyone to easily gloss over and fall asleep to. But it is called the wailing wall, not the depression wall, not the regret wall, not the nostalgic wall. This was a place of real mourning and pain. The pain you experience when you have to endure the loss of something or someone you never could have imagined being without. It isn't a sad place to be, it is a miserable place to be. Yet it is printed without life in some textbook that only few will ever read about.

I think I have a few wailing walls myself, and I think many of us do. Places we go to grieve the loss of something that was taken from us, our innocence, our hope, or our security. We are busy. It sits inside the cellar waiting for us to open the door. We rarely do because it causes too much pain to do so. But when we do, when we cannot take one more minute of neglecting it, we go down there and sit. We let all of that stuff come out finally. Maybe once a year, maybe a dozen times, but every time, we are glad we did, because there is a time for mourning. I think people need to remember that the Bible tells us that there is a time for mourning. It goes on to say: James 4:9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Life as a believer in your one and only Savior Jesus, is not always peaches and sunshine. It doesn't mean that life is now going to take it easy on you. God is not going to protect you from every violent accident or deadly virus. God gives us hope in something better than what we have here, something that is lasting and real. Something that man could never touch. But He does not offers us wonderful lives of peace and laughter here. For some, being a Christian means offering their bodies to the wolves to be eaten and stomped on. Is it fair? Yes, it is. We deserve worse, but isn't that what Jesus is really about. Redemption from what we really deserve?

We don't have to pretend that we are all just fine. Some people are and have been blessed since birth with the graces of God for His own purposes and others have not had the same life experience. If it hurts, it hurts. If you are a Christian, it still hurts. Because pain is pain. But realize in your pain that God has more than you do. We hurt because we lost a friend or relative to a disease, well God has more pain because He didn't intend for people to have to die. We feel pain for losing half of our hearts to a friend who lost his way, well God weeps louder than you. He grieves too. Remember that it isn't God that invented sin, it was us. This sin is what causes loss all over the world. All over, there are people's wailing walls. We have to drive by them sometimes daily and remember the weight that is sitting on the bottom side end of our hearts. The mothers of terrorists cry for the loss of their children too, just as we do. Pain is a universal trait that was born into us the moment we emerged from our mothers. Remembering where hope lies is the key to happiness and peace. The only key.


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