Good afternoon and welcome to the place of prayer. I am chaplain Wesley.
This past week, for some reason, my favorite poem has been resonating in my heart. Many of you all may have heard this poem before, it is one of Robert Frost’s famous poems called the Mending Wall. I wanted to share portions of it with you today (full poem).
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to all the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pine, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors”
Before I built a wall, I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love all,
That wants it down.
While most times poetry flies right over my head, this particular one has stayed with me for years. It always reminds me of how often we try to create, build and mend the walls around me. Even when it does not make sense, we are like the neighbor in the poem believe that “Good fences make good neighbors”
So, we often create walls without stopping to think what we are walling in or out.
Now, I am not talking about literal walls, but rather the ways in which we separate ourselves from each other. How we keep even the closest people away from our true selves.
I think the hospital often exposes these walls because as we face our own struggles, we suddenly realize the ways we have walled people out of our lives. We might remember old hurts, or see broken family dynamics, or realize the fragility of our own lives.
And so we try to keep our own emotions of doubt, fear, anxiety secret from even ourselves. Yet like the man in the poem, if stop to see the ways in which have walled people out, we may discover how futile these walls are.
I believe that is often we when recognize these things that we discover there is someone/something more powerful breaking through these insecurities, these walls.
For it is when our insecurities crumble, when we face big situations, when we face difficulty and pain that we see there is a God here among us.
My favorite line in the poem is “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down.”
I believe that something is God. God wants our walls down so God may draw close to us during these times of uncertainty. God desires to mind old hurts, to mend disrupted family dynamics, to mend our lives.
God has plans for each us, plans which allow us to succeed and not to harm us, plans which give us hope and a future.
God does not want us to hide behind these walls, but God wants to expose them so that we will have to rely upon our family, our friends and upon God for support during these difficult times.
One important way in which we are able to tear down these walls is through prayer, so would you please join me as we turn to God in prayer.
God, we come to today asking that you would remove any rocks, any struggles, and walls we may have that separate us from you. Open our hearts to feel your presence with you wherever we go. Help us catch glimmers of hope throughout the day. You who created us know our deepest need and deepest pains. Hear our hearts as they cry out to you and hear the words that have been written in this book. We pray all of these things to you, our God. Amen.
Thank you for your time, and I would like to invite you to join us again tomorrow at noon for a meditation.