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Breaking walls, stepping across...!

Saturday, February 09, 2019
By Robert Clements

And just when the whole of America faces a shut down over a billionaire mason wanting to build a wall, we see alongside, a religious leader breaking down age old walls and stepping across.

“Build the wall!” shouts Trump.

“Break down the wall!” smiles Pope Francis, and steps over broken pieces to embrace so called enemies of the faith on the other side.

A few days ago, a church in Mumbai celebrating its 130th year of existence invited me over for their celebrations, which went well, till they committed the unforgivable act of asking me to say a few words.

“We are celebrating the building of these walls over a century ago!” I said, “But it’s time you broke down these walls and stepped out into the world outside!”
Nobody applauded.

Yes, even as all the crafty politicians of the world are cajoling their citizens to put up walls, it is time to pull them down!

Walls, only make people inside them fear those who live outside. And the only way to erase that fear is to meet fear head on, which means that instead of hiding behind walled fortresses, we need to step across and find out if the perceived enemy is really one.

My daughter has brought her year old twins home, and since we were bothered about my fierce German-shepherd, we installed a small wooden gate at the entrance to my sitting room, so the dog could stay out and the twins safe within.

My dog would peer in and the twins would peer out every day. Both seemed to be saying something. One day the gate was left open and I scurried to the bedroom to find the twins, first looking furtively at the huge beast, then cautiously touching its tail, then grinning as it gave them each a lick and they were all friends.

Well, you can imagine, how often the gate is closed now!

Today, It’s the time of breaking down, not building up.

Of stepping across, not pulling back.

Of handshakes, not fistfights.

But to do so, requires courage: Courage to go against cunning political leaders who play on our cowardice and build fears. Courage to face ridicule, break down walls and reach across.

All over the world are the ruins of old forts. Nowhere have I seen a new fort being built, except by one man in America who has even shut down his government to get his way.

But even as we condemn this builder, let us applaud the breaker of a more than thousand year old one, as he walked across and embraced the enemy outside, and found him a brother.

Whatever your faith, let us follow the action of this man of peace..!

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