I really like the images that come from reading The Message. Actually, from meeting God through the Message.
Today, I read Psalm 17:7: “Paint grace-graffiti on the fences; take in your frightened children who are running from the neighborhood bullies straight to you.”
Think about it – what is graffiti? It’s paint, drawings, markings that the owner of the building, the sidewalk, the whatever didn’t necessarily want and didn’t ask for. There are rare occasions where graffiti is asked for, but it isn’t usually.
So, graffiti is rarely asked for – but almost always permanent or at least very difficult to get rid of.
Then what is grace-graffiti? It’s the permanent markings of a Jesus, of a savior who comes and has left our world different because of what He has done. The world is a different place, our world is different, our lives are different because of Jesus.
But it’s grace-graffiti (God’s markings) on our fences. What are the fences in our lives? A fence is usually used either to keep something or someone out or to prevent someone or something from getting away. You either want to keep the dog in the yard or you want to prevent the neighbor’s toddler from getting in your pool.
So what’s a spiritual fence? A fence that can have God’s grace-graffiti painted on it? Could it be?
Could it be the junk in our lives that keep us away from God?
Could it be our past history that we feel is keeping us from getting close to God?
Could it be things that have happened to us?
Could it be the way others have treated us? The way people in the church have treated us?
The list of potential fences could be longer than we’ll have time to write out.
God is drawing pictures and writing the stories of His grace on our fences. We need to open the gate and welcome Him in.
This verse goes one farther. Not only do we need to open our fence gate and welcome Him in, we need to be His hands and feet for the frightened children who are running from the bullies.
Children who need help.
Our fence has been painted with God’s grace and we need to open the gate and let Him in.