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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, August 19, 2013


"Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God." 3 John 1:5-6 (NIV)

Will you come through the hedge for another? We build hedges around us for various reasons. Just a few include: 1. to keep others out, 2. to form a safe framework, 3. to create a peaceful garden. Some people get stuck inside the hedge - trapped. Will you come through the hedge for them?

When we have been hurt, we protect ourselves from further attack by building a wall around ourselves. We don’t let that offender in again. Or, at the extreme, we don’t let anyone in. We wall off our heart to the world. We become fixed in a state of hypervigilance, to make sure no one slips through.

Hedges are also built to form a structure, a framework for us to hang our lives on. We get up at a prescribed time, with or without the alarm, and go to bed on the same timetable. Meals are on a regular schedule and work hours are rigidly maintained. These are the habits a person develops in order to be where they need to be and accomplish what needs to be accomplished. The problem occurs when they are required, or just want to do something outside the schedule, beyond the hedge.

Often, beautiful flowers are surrounded by a hedge, as in an English garden. Other times, a fence is erected to provide the same enclosure. The idea can be to identify your garden’s boundaries or to keep others out, including rabbits as in Mr. MacGregor’s garden. A stroll through the garden can be very peaceful and spiritual, as in the hymn, In the Garden. It can be a lonely place if you let no one else in. Some people find so much peace in loneliness that they become addicted to the solitude or depression. If you find someone trapped in their garden, will you come through the hedge for them?

Behind the hedge can be a mesmerizing place, a place so safe that it becomes impossible to step beyond the rim. Those stuck there may need to escape or just vacation from their inner life for a while. Be a friend in Christ. Come through the hedge. Invite them to walk beyond the boundaries of their world and experience a trust in God not felt as deeply when they are safe. Be their rescuer in Christ. Let us pray:

"Father God, Lord of all, sweet presence inside and outside the hedge, holy are you and precious to my heart. Give me eyes to see those trapped behind their safe wall that I might speak your words of soothing so they can step outside for a little while. I know you are everywhere, but some people trapped within the hedge, focus only on the safety, the rigid structure and the peace, and pay no heed to your voice that asks them to step beyond their comfort zone and follow you. Take down any wall or hedge of my own and let me see you there in the opening, that I may help others. In the name of Jesus, your son and my Christ, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp
Events: Saturday Sept 14, 2013 1pm - Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, Ann Arbor, MI
Friday Sept. 20, 2013 7:00 pm - Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, Valporaiso, Indiana.

Promote Yourself - a pep talk on self-promotion will be available in eBook form by Friday, 8/23/13 at and In paper back book by Friday, 9/6/13 at and

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