In February, I was privileged to serve on our third KZN Ladies Outside Kairos Weekend, which is a weekend of ministry to women whose loved ones are incarcerated behind bars.
At El Olam Christian Camp, in a stunning setting on a sugar farm near Eston, we hosted fourteen ‘Guests’ from all parts of KZN. These ladies each had a son or brother or husband or partner in prison.
Sadly, these women are, in a sense, ‘in prison’ themselves, often rejected by their communities and even, in some cases, their churches. Kairos reaches out in love to these outcasts and helps them tear down figurative walls of isolation, anger and unforgiveness. As team members we endeavour to be the hands and feet of Jesus and reflect his unconditional love and forgiveness to each one of them. As Guests they find sisters in Christ in similar circumstances and are able to create, together, with our help, a new supportive community.
I’d like to share with you one of the experiences the Guests have. After talks and discussions on subjects such as Choices, Anger, Isolation & Rejection, Communication with God and more, they listen to a beautiful meditation entitled The Wall. This describes how we, as people, tend to build walls around ourselves when we have been hurt. We are frightened of being vulnerable to further pain. In this meditation, God enters the situation and helps the speaker recognise the stones from which the wall is built and together, they gradually removes these, one at a time.
Our Guests were given this same opportunity. At a moving service, following this meditation, each guest was able to select, from a wall, one or two stones that bore labels pertinent to themselves. The names of the stones included: hatred, jealousy, disillusionment, fear, pride, rejection, isolation, anger, unforgiveness and more. Each Guest then laid these painful emotions at the foot of the cross on the altar.
We all hide behind walls built of worry, jealousy, disillusionment and more. We all have fears and anxieties about letting others into our personal space. I find that the only way to dismantle my own wall is to surrender my feelings to Jesus, knowing he will deal gently with me and my situation.
If you are feeling anxious and isolated, give your ‘stones’ to God. In your imagination, take your burdens to the foot of the Cross, and offer them up to Him. He, and only He, is the way, the truth and the life.
Lamentations 3:22-23 - Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Let us glorify God in the words of this song:
Bring down the walls, walls that come between us,
Bring down the walls, the blessed Saviour reigns;
Bring down the walls, Jesus’ love has freed us
Open up, let the sunshine in, Jesus Christ is King!