He wasn’t quite 6 years old. He was spending the weekly one-hour session with his therapist. He walked over to the dollhouse and proceeded to remove all the walls and doors. He then buried them in the sandbox. Then he commenced to play happily and freely. Before the hour was up, he suddenly became tense, sad and worried. He went over to the sandbox again and said, “These can’t be buried yet. There’s Dorothy…” And he dug up the walls and doors and put them back in place.

This story started me thinking about walls, doors, and even locked doors. Psalm 31:8 tells us, “And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: Thou hast set my feet in a large room.” What about my heart? At conversion my heart was clean… and free of walls and doors. It was a large room – a room large enough to live free, to love everybody, to trust God, to give confidence.

Walls are a hindrance in this large room. They keep us from being able to see the whole picture. They keep us shut up in our little corners. Oftentimes there are doors in the walls. We begin to feel like there should be more freedom, so we open the door. This helps us feel better about our room – not so closed in and we can see into the next room. But if something seems scary and makes me feel vulnerable, I can always close the door again. And maybe even lock it.

What are these walls made of?

Fear can create a wall in my heart. Fear of the future. Fear of what others may think if I step out of my little room. Fear of failure. Fears keep us from living free.

Another wall might be a lack of confidence. I look around at the world, the Church, my brothers and sisters. There are many things that could make me lose confidence in God and my brethren. But when I can trust God is in control and that my brothers and sisters are striving for the same goal as I am and give confidence, I can live free. Lack of confidence can lead to offense – another thick wall.

Maybe we fall prey to the wall of suspicion. I want to live my life and no one else needs to know what is going on in my life – unless I choose to tell them. If someone does see through my door, I feel a bit violated and wonder why they have to know everything – and they’ll probably tell everyone else. We become suspicious of a lot of people. But… this large room calls for openness and vulnerability to our brothers and sisters – an open heart to each other’s thoughts, feelings, ideas and convictions.

Sometimes maybe I build a wall to keep me from having to take much responsibility. I don’t want to get involved, so I put up a wall to protect me from whatever might be coming my way – forgetting that God wants me to trust Him for grace and power and strength to do what He asks.

Another wall could be my own time, my own agenda. I have my week planned out and there is not time for anything or anyone else – even my children sometimes. This wall can really distance us from everyone. We begin to feel as if no one is there for us, when really we are so busy in our little room we have no time for anyone else. If you are too busy to do God’s will, then there are things on your agenda that God did not put there.

As I have looked into my heart, there are too many walls. What does it take to tear them down? Complete surrender to God and then obedience in what He asks. It won’t be easy – especially if the walls have been there a long time. God will help us. Too often we are like that little boy. The walls are gone, living free is wonderful. But… there’s Dorothy… what about her? And the walls go back up. The freedom is gone. And we realize we have something that needs help again. But God is faithful… This little boy dealt with “Dorothy” and found freedom again. And, with God’s help, so can we. “He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19

By Julie Boeckner