I would be lying if I said we didn’t see the signs clearly posted every 300 feet, but when a hidden quarry is calling, you push through minor obstacles like the law. My friends and I were sneaking into a quarry on the outskirts of the tiny town where my college was located. I would love to say that when we got to this hidden destination we had a wild party or went skinny-dipping, but my two Biology buddies and I were, in fact, studying for Microbiology or Biochemistry or something super crazy like that. The study session was broken up by a loud truck driven by a forestry worker proudly donning his Department of Natural Resources patch.
Trespassing? But we were quietly studying. Had we seen the signs? Yes, we thought they were suggesting, not commanding. A ticket for $750 each? That fine sounded more illegal than our nerdy outing.
Long story short, we were put into the back of a truck and sent home with fines bigger than our checking accounts. Luckily, we had the brilliant idea of doing a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for our “bail” which helped to greatly offset the ridiculous fee.
Thus was my brief foray into lawbreaking. I am a trespasser. There, I said it.
I have been thinking a lot lately about trespassers, thinking that we all desperately need a few Trusted Trespassers in our lives. Life is better when we have people who break through the Private Property signs posted by our highly individualistic culture and ignore the carefully placed No Trespassing signs of our self-protection.
We all have them, we all throw them up saying, “This is my life, my mess, my problem, my sin pattern, my family.” We all have hiding places we would rather others not find. As complex humans we can build some elaborate walls and defenses. Medieval fortresses ain’t got nothing on us.
In “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost wrote about such walls and fences.
“Before I built a wall, I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”
The thing about us humans is that we build these elaborate walls and defenses, but simultaneously we long to be known. We put up the “No Trespassing” signs, all the while looking for Trusted Trespassers who will love us enough to ignore them.
Allowing others to trespass and being a trusted trespasser ourselves are powerful indicators that the Good News of Christ is penetrating our lives. Being known and loved unconditionally by the God of the universe through the Cross of Christ brings about a divine disarmament in our lives. We no longer need to fight bloody wars to defend ourselves or our images. When have been disarmed by perfect grace, we no longer need to stand sentinel in front of the messes of our hearts, our families or lives. In fact, the opposite begins to happen. We find ourselves reluctantly inviting others into the darker places and stepping beyond the polite boundaries of surface friendships into the messes of those we love.
Praying this week that we would trespass and be trespassed by a trusted few. No fines expected.