Tearing Down The Walls

“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” Habakkuk 2:1-20

This is a beautiful image to me. A soldier, a guard looking out from a place of security, you know…something you’ve worked on, maybe a lifetime building your rampart, your defenses.

What is your rampart built of? What gives you security? Our house is almost paid off. We have a 401k, our jobs are relatively secure. Diana and I put significant efforts toward our financial security. It is definitely a part of our lives.

There is something else we’ve been working on. Something we’ve realized is both something we want to do together, but also something we need to work on… on our own. It is our relationship with GOD. For me, as I have grown older, thanks to GOD, I have come to realize the importance, the joy, the absolute gift of GOD in my life. In my journey to GOD I have found myself more able to love myself and less worried about what others think of me. I find myself more able to love others and less worried about being rejected, made fun of, or being concerned about fitting in. I find my relationships deeper, tears come easier.

I am leaving worry behind. Oh, there is pain, the direct pain of losing a loved one, the pain of a relationship going bad, the pain of cuts, broken bones, muscles hurting. The pain we all have of being human.

My mom has Congenital Heart Disease. It has been coming on slowly, slowly for my mom, slowly for my brothers and sisters… and slowly for me. The medical articles say it causes shortness of breath. There is nothing that can be done, short of a heart transplant, but at 86, a transplant is not a strong option. The medical articles say you need to stay calm and not worry, because worry cause anxiety and induces a further shortness of breath.

My mom is concerned about her kids after she is gone. We’ve experienced friends whose families have broken up after the death of a parent because of arguments about money, belongings, feelings of things that were done or not done. So my mom asks us when we visit to put our names on things in the house so we’ll know who they go to after she dies. She says it will cause less chaos after she is gone. One of the last times my brother and I were there she was very insistent on it, so Tom put his name on a picture and I put my name on an ashtray my father had made in WWII… and I wrote it on the toilet paper roll in her bathroom. I get a call from my mom later that evening (we had driven back to Denver) and she was laughing, laughing deep and hard. She thought it was one of the funniest things she had ever seen. That was over a year ago and we still laugh about it now… my mom and I. Whenever my mom and I talk about things getting a bit down because she is tired and short of breath I ask her if my name is still on the toilet paper… and we both laugh and she breathes easier.

Life is about more than things, more than financial security… life is about relationships! The good ones and the bad ones, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with GOD, with our family, our friends, with those we don’t even know!

There is a song by the Avett Brothers that says… “Three words that became hard to say, I and Love and You!” I pray that we love more and worry less. I pray that the words “I LOVE YOU” become easier and easier to say. I pray that I say I LOVE YOU more and more!

Jim Dietvorst

Precious Father, Loving God, Holy Spirit help me to say I LOVE YOU to those I love, to those you would have me love, to those that are hard to love. I pray, dear Lord, help me to say I love you more! AMEN.

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