by Rod Davis

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” — Jesus (Luke 4:18-19)

Once again you stepped outside                                                                                                              your fortress safe and strong                                                                                                                  and took a chance on loving again                                                                                                          risking more heartache and wrong.

You tried your best to touch someone                                                                                                            to show them you care.                                                                                                                               You gave your all, expressing love                                                                                                                   and laid your spirit bare.

You opened wide your arms of trust                                                                                                        exposing a heart oft abused                                                                                                                          by those who knew little in life                                                                                                              but using and being used.

Hurt, once again you retreat inside                                                                                                               your fortress safe and strong                                                                                                                     and reinforce the battlements                                                                                                                and hide with drawbridge drawn.

Construction seems to never end

as stone is laid on stone.

The walls mount high hiding your pain,

huge walls that you build alone.

But what you use to build your nest

of high and hulking walls

are stones not made of wood or clay,

nor made of rock at all.

The fabric of each bulking stone

you carefully set in place

is made of broken promises,

of tears that stained your face.

The enormous sense of loss you felt,

the investing of yourself,

the kind and honest love you gave

until there was little left

was sadly unheeded and cast aside,

leaving you drained and burned.

You gave your best, your greatest gift,

only to see it spurned.

So, stones of hurt and bitterness

are mounted side by side.

Your fortress seems unscaleable,

as deep inside you hide.

You think, “I’m safe from harm in here

behind my castle walls.

I’ve made sure they can’t be climbed

for I built them wide and tall.”

But, my friend, what you don’t see,

what’s cleverly hidden from view;

These walls were made by someone else.

Your fortress not built by you

No, you were not the architect.

It wasn’t your design,

but simply part of a deadly scheme

conspired in another’s mind.

A twisted and demented soul

devised an evil ploy

to do what he has always done

to rob, to kill and destroy.

These lofty walls don’t make a fort

or refuse where you hide.

Their purpose not to keep pain out

but keep you locked inside.

You’re not alone in this prison veiled

for others are fastened away

behind gray walls of bitterness

where many of them will stay

Locked in by thoughts of hopelessness,

with a warden brutal and cruel

who holds no mercy in his heart

for all those under his rule.

This dungeon cell where they abide

is dark and sad and cold.

Though it may seem safe inside

no freedom does it hold.

But Jesus came to storm those walls,

to set the captive free[1],

to give you life with all its best

blessed with love and liberty[2].

And though at times it hurts to love,

for loving off times brings pain.

We have God’s promise ever sure,

“No labor of love is in vain.” [3]

Only by loving are we most like God[4],

which should be our deepest desire.

It may mean risks, exposing our heart,

but measureless the gain that is ours.

Love, like a muscle, strengthens with use

“No pain, No gain.” We are told.

For only when we empty ourselves

is there room for the treasures love holds.

Choosing to trust still bids risks

when you’ve made the commitment to love,

but the untold gain of loving like God

is forever established above.

For love in motion gives substance to faith;

thus, “faith without works is dead.”[5]

To know why this “love never fails”

our love and our faith must be wed.

As two become one on their wedding night,

and their union produces new life.

So, love in action consummates faith;

bearing fruit like a husband and wife.[6]

Faith expressing itself through love

is the only thing that counts.[7]

For love with legs completes our faith,

and its power floods in like a fount.

There’s no need to build ugly walls.

Let’s pull all the strongholds down,

demolishing fear and every pretense

that tries to usurp the crown[8]

that belongs only to our awesome God

and the truth of victory He’s won.

We endeavor to place every thought

in obedience to His Son.[9]

Are they walls of a fort or a prison strong?

Do you see they are one in the same?

If a refuge you need there’s one to be found

the strong tower of His great name.[10]

So, don’t be afraid to reach out again.

Continue to sow and be sure

God’s promise’s true. Love’s harvest is yours.

You’ll reap if you choose to endure.[11]

As you freely give, you’ll freely receive,

when with love you respond to God’s call.

Love’s sweet pleasures you’ll reap with great joy,

as you bid glad farewell to The Walls.

[1] John 8:3 (NIV on all references)

[2] John 10:10

[3] 1Corinthians 15:58

[4] Ephesians 5:1

[5] James 2:20

[6] Ephesians 5:9

[7] Galatians 5:6

[8] Hebrews 2:9

[9] 2Corinthians 10:5

[10] Psalms 106:8

[11] Galatians 6:9

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