The Problem with Walls

Lynn PittsUncategorized

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat…. (Joshua 6:20a KJV)


Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down. (“Mending Wall,” Robert Frost)


There are walls of all kinds: tall and short, wide and slender, visible and invisible. There are walls that are protective and walls that are forbidding. There are walls that are beautiful and walls that are ugly.

Joshua brought down the city wall of Jericho with the blast of a ram’s horn. Well, I say Joshua brought it down; actually he had some help from the Almighty!

I am persuaded that, largely, Robert Frost was right, that Frost’s “something” is actually Someone, i.e. the Almighty God.

Though God didn’t build walls, He certainly did set limits, which, I suppose fall under the category of invisible walls.

Frost, in his wisdom, went on to say,

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out….

That is where it gets tricky for us mere mortals. There are some things we should welcome into our lives: worship, joy, work, faith, rest, laughter, fun, obedience, and certainly love. The question is this: how do we find the appropriate balance of all those wonderful things?

Even Frost muses that he and his neighbor do not actually need a wall:

Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Where are your walls? Where are mine? What are we walling out?

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