Beyond Those Walls
Walls are being constructed today more than ever, even though some of the ancient ones are in disrepair. There’s a new wave of wall- building, or as some might say, a period of renaissance is being experienced. Some have said that nowadays, building walls is fashionable. People are ” forting up” or increasing their feelings of security by moving into gated communities, homes with security fences, high hedges, dogs, and guns. These methods of security are for the same reason walls were built 2,000 years ago, to keep some in and others out. Walls are now being constructed by countries all over the world because of immigration and terrorism. In all, 70 different countries have secured their borders. True, walls are built more to prevent immigration, terrorism, or the flow of illegal drugs. But there is a common connection, which is the idea of keeping outsiders out. Who are the outsiders? Are they the ones that are already on the outside?
In our own country, there’s a huge and controversial push for funds to build a “Big, Beautiful, Wall.” It is also intended for the reasons cited above, to keep the outsiders out! From our leader’s perspective, the outsiders are the ones from “shit-hole countries,” drug dealers, rapist, low-social economical classes etc.
The outsiders are humans too. Not all of them are unworthy. According to Genesis 49:22-24, Jacob was old and, on his deathbed, he pronounced prophetic blessings on each of his sons. His next-to-youngest son was Joseph. This son is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. Joseph extended his reach beyond the walls, God increased Joseph’s blessing. See, Joseph didn’t keep the blessing of his garden inside the walls. Instead, he reached out to meet the needs of others.
Instead of pushing against those in peril and separating them from their children, they should be treated like Joseph treated his brothers, then their blessings will be received. All people would have died in the famine if not for Joseph. Joseph extended his blessing beyond the walls, beyond his confinement, beyond where he was. He cared about people who had nothing to offer him, people who didn’t deserve his help. He shared his blessing with the people around him.
If I may, I would like to share this folk legend with you.
There’s a folk legend about the first of the great walls of China: the story of the weeping widow. Her husband is drafted to go off and work on the wall but finds the conditions too difficult. He’s beaten daily by a supervisor and tries to escape. When he returns, his supervisors put him to death. His widow comes to the wall in search of him, when she hears of his death, she immediately begins to gush tears. Those don’t relent for 10 days until the wall has been washed away.