I wish I could say it square. I wish I could say it where it didn't sound like I was talking in circles or that I wasn't exactly sure how to say it in the first place. Where it was clear cut and made sense and all the lines didn't blur into one. Truth is I don't, don't know how to say how my heart feels and it not get all messy. And I believe in some ways that is how it should be. Or at least how we are all feeling at some point on some level in our lives.
This coming December will mark 9 years in the Binghampton neighborhood. The neighborhood marked with darkness, poverty, drugs, gunfire and some hurt and loneliness mixed in. The same place where my man said he felt like God was calling us there, moving our family, reconstructing us. Some kicking, a little screaming and a transformation of the heart later and we moved in.
And there is a sense of humanness that cries out from me to believe that it has all been good and a deepness of my soul that says He is all good. Because the truth, the real truth is that the first line is a lie. It has not all been good. It has been hard, it has been lonely, it has been exhausting, and yes there has been good mixed in. And only because in the second part there is no lie at all. He is all good all the time.
9 years and I want to believe that there has been big change and people have been changed and the bad has left and the good has come. But the truth is we have changed even when the darkness remains and the Good did come and still comes everyday.
If there was one theme or mantra that could title it all it would be Knocking Down Walls. Both literal and figurative walls. This past week two houses were knocked down on our street. One was being used as a drug house and the other one has been empty for some time now. And those are good walls to be torn down. Like those of racism, hatred, hurt and brokenness.
There also comes with that the irony of the walls that go up in the tearing down. Mistrust, fear, and shame. "I won't let him hurt me again" she yelled it as a declaration to whoever was on the other end of that phone but maybe just as much to convince herself. Sometimes it is much more work to tear down those walls and much easier to put them up. Easier for me to walk in my house and close my door and pretend not to hear.
Putting up my own walls of what I believe is right and how things should be, of what I want and what I think I deserve. Or just quiet. Walls to block out the noise of this world and protect me and the ones I love, to shelter us. But there is One that tells us to find shelter in his wings and to find rest under his yoke not behind walls made with worry and human hands.
As long as we live here, and I don't mean in this neighborhood I mean on this earth, we will continue to knock down the walls. It is our very purpose, our calling. And what I continue to learn is that sometimes the most powerful way to tear something down is not with physical strength but with the might of prayer.