The Common Good

Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Wall

100216_090527-1503-palestineIn this simple statement from his poem Mending Wall, modern American poet Robert Frost voices the deep concern with how human fear leads to building walls that separate us from others. "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know," goes on Frost, "What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence."

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While the Great Wall of China has been reduced to a tourist attraction and the Berlin Wall stands as symbol of the progress of freedom, reality is that nations around the world are building walls at an unprecedented pace -- from the U.S.-Mexico border, to Israel/Palestine, and in an article in a recent New York Times, to a small village in Eastern Europe ("Walls, Real and Imagined, Surround the Roma")

By contrast, Ephesians 2:14 portrays Jesus' ministry as one of physically breaking down dividing walls: "For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us."

Share your thoughts about, as Frost says, "what I was walling in or walling out" at Faith on the Move Forum.

David Vásquez is Campus Pastor at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He is currently on sabbatical in the Middle East.

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