Bricks and Mortar
Prayer Pairs #12
Bricklaying is ancient, dating back to 7000 BC. You can read more about the history of bricks here. There is something rather fascinating to me about watching a brick wall being built. The neatly stacked symmetry, the precision of measurement, the rhythm and artistry all appeal to me.
There are many videos on YouTube showing bricklaying including many designed to be soothing watching.
Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.
Colossians 2:7 (CEV)
Building walls is good if we’re looking to create security and shelter. Many buildings include a block foundation or block walls, built by hand by bricklayers. These walls are reinforced with steel to create solid foundations on which to build our houses and other buildings. Sometimes, especially for older buildings, the masonry isn’t quite as solid and strong as the builders and bricklayers might have imagined. Living in the Shaky Isles of Aotearoa, we’ve experienced the impact earthquakes have on brick buildings and how quickly a brick wall can crumble.
We build walls ourselves. Our walls aren’t made from bricks and mortar, but from other less tangible things. We build walls to give us strength and security. We build walls to protect ourselves from hurt. We shield our innerselves within these walls. We build walls to keep people away from us. We create barriers to stop someone from getting close to us.
There are walls in our world today that have been built to keep people apart from each other. They create a line of division, with those on one side of the wall blessed with advantages and those on the outside of the wall often experiencing hardship. These walls have happened throughout civilisation and don’t ever seem to come out on the right side of history.
Here is the challenge of bricks and mortar. How do we get the balance right between building protection and safety for ourselves and yet holding out our hand to help the stranger in need, the neighbour, the friend, the family member outside the wall.
Today’s prayers invite us first to think about the walls we build ourselves and then invite us to think beyond ourselves to those who are experiencing hardship because of real walls that have been built.
On the journey
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