What is a wall? Often, we hear these days, walls keep people out. Of course, they do much more than that. Walls provide a sense of in and out, of here and there, of us and them. By indicating the end of territory, they define space and enable those within their perimeters to understand themselves in relation to location – linking where they are to who they are.
Walls also keep people in. Holding those inside in either beneficial protection or adversarial confinement. Impenetrable walls cut off oxygen – there is no life within impenetrable walls. Walls without the will to protect them are merely obstacles to someone else’s free passage.
And finally, walls are constructed by humans. Just like fences and borders and other demarcations, their existence and location is entirely within human control.
We are accountable for every brick we choose to add to the walls around us. Every decision regarding the measures to protect these walls is on us. As people of faith, let us consider alternatives. Let us reflect on the potential damage these decisions might cause to our nation’s sense of self. Let us remind each other of the inherent and divine interconnectedness of all human beings.