Sep 13, 2011

A Community Of Gates

This morning Molly the weimeraner and I walked through the gated community. The community where I do not live. Not because I do not like gates...  I adore gates. I love a gate that bids me welcome, where I want to run my hand along along its smooth iron as the morning sun warms it. I want to push it open to enter into its lovely garden that calls me to breathe in its beauty.

This gated community I speak of is beautiful with gracious homes, landscaping that makes me wish for it in my yard... across the way.  As I came to the end of the street my eyes fell on another gate, with a grand house standing tall behind it, daring me to look up at its windows. It made me uncomfortable, like I was being watched. Like I didn't belong.
It made me wonder... so interesting to see a gated house in a gated community. Like a New York City apartment, with 8 locks running up and down its door.
What kind of mischief were these people expecting or had they encountered?
They had taken serious steps to ensure their safety and well being.

It made me think of my fears. Is my greatest fear that someone would come into my home and steal my things?
Or, are my fears things that a gate will never protect me from?  Taking or hurting the people I love most in this world. Robbing me of my physical, emotional or spiritual health.
A life wasted and lived for selfish ambition.
A gate will never protect me from those things....

We can't share community when we live behind walls and gates. That isn't a community, it's a private residence with a "No Soliciting" sign on the front door.
I had a neighbor who did that. He wasn't really a neighbor in the true sense of the word. I never borrowed an egg or a cup of sugar from his wife. I knew better. He lived across the street; that was the beginning and the end of relationship.

I would rather live with arms wide open, my front door open to all.
Whoever you are, no matter what you look like, who you vote for and what church or bar you regularly attend.
That is life lived as community and that is how Jesus taught us to live ... and love.

God is the only protection I need in this world. He is my Rock, my Redeemer, My defender, My Fortress, the Great Physician and Mighty Warrior. He is my 24/7 Security Guard and the only cost is my love and devotion, as flawed as it is.

Let us serve and love one another as Jesus commanded.... no fear, no fences and gates wide open.

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; ..."
Romans 12: 3-13

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