I recently had the privilege to visit Ireland in celebration of my mother’s 60th birthday. It was a deep-rooted dream of hers, one she shared with my sisters and I in our childhood. She read books set in the Irish countryside and she yearned to see it firsthand. She hoped to rest her feet on the beautifully depicted lands she so thoughtfully envisioned in her mind. She desired to see it through the lens of her own camera.
So, in April of this year, she was blessed with the opportunity to take these pictures . . .
The intricate labyrinth of stone walls were endless, creating divisions of grassy land. A variance of gray and green made up this land contrasting in both hardness and lushness. Sheep roamed while cattle grazed, and peacefulness filled the open space with only the temporary interruption of a car driving down the narrow roads that travel throughout the countryside.
Aside from the overwhelming number of sheep we encountered, the stone walls were the most memorable. The endless, mortarless, manmade walls! Each stone laid next to or atop the others, offering support and stability on an island with such windy conditions. Together the stones are able to stay grounded and endure harsh storms. They provide protection from predators and barriers for the sheep and cattle.
They do these things together. One stone does not possess the strength to do it alone.
Many are required.
The same goes for Christian fellowship. It takes accountability and discipleship to stay grounded in our faith. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.” He encouraged Christian fellowship in action and prayer. He encouraged community.
The kingdom of God is meant to look like these stone walls. We are to join together to build a barrier against the enemy and to hold one another accountable in our Christian walk. Our walls are meant to be endless and unbreakable. They are meant to withstand harsh conditions, offering support and stability for one another.
So, lock arms with the brothers and sisters in your community in the name of our Lord Jesus. Pray with them. Provide support and encouragement, uplift and empower them. Direct them back to the Word of God in all of their decision-making.
Be present in their lives.