The Hissing Wall

Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Listen while you read: "Simply Trusting"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 25:34-36 – Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." (NIV)

While my three-legged foster cat, Caesar, was learning to walk again after the amputation of a hind leg, I put a fence across my hallway so that he could move about in safety and not be harassed by my dogs. Caesar was afraid of the dogs, and the dogs were fearful of this strange feline in their space. Soon, the fence became known as the hissing wall as Caesar hissed at the dogs from one side, and the dogs hissed back.

Watching this spectacle caused me to consider today's Scripture. Why? Because sometimes we, too, can erect walls between ourselves and the homeless, the hungry, the poor, the addicted, the stranger, and the incarcerated. In turn, they, too, may erect walls against us. We may not trust them or know how to approach them, just as they may not trust us or know how to accept a helping hand. Thus, it is easy for all of us to end up at the hissing wall.

However, by means of the love of Christ, God calls us to break down the hissing wall and to do what is right in His sight: to help those who need our help, no matter what their circumstance. We are to help them, not in our own wisdom and strength, but in His, through the power of His Holy Spirit Who knows exactly what each person needs and how to go about helping them, if we will only trust Him and humbly ask Him to reveal these things to us.

For years, I maintained that I would never work with incarcerated individuals. Some time ago, however, a friend asked me to consider working with Crossroads Prison Ministries. After praying, I felt God calling me to do so. With His help, I now tutor three students by marking their Bible studies and writing personal letters to accompany each study when it is returned to them. My hissing wall has been dismantled by the love that God has placed in my heart for each of my students, in spite of whatever reason that they are where they are. The Holy Spirit also routinely opens my eyes to their needs and guides my words in my return letters to them.

What hissing walls might God be wanting to break down in your life? Are you prepared and willing for Him to do so?

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your love that allows us to break down walls rather than building them. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you. Good one.

    Thanks once again Lynne.

    Another good report!

    A very moving one. Thanks for sharing.

    Dear Lynne!
    Thank you for your wonderful devotional message today.

    Thank you, Lynne, for reminding us to let God decide where we are needed.

    Blessings Lynne to you and your family and may God continue to use your gifts.

    Thank you, Lynne. May we look to the Holy Spirit for guidance in reaching out to others.

    Again, I have been blessed by your writing. Thank you for sharing through the God-given gift of writing.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today! To God be the glory! Blessings.

    Good morning, Lynne.
    I’ll have to think about this a bit today. Thank you for your good words.

    Lynne – This is a powerful image you present, and one that had never crossed my mind. Thank you for bringing light upon a portion of scripture that may have been slighted.

    Thank you, Lynne! You have given me something to think about today. “Walls that divide” must be broken down.

    God bless you. God is so good, and maybe through you God is helping those three take down their hissing walls also.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    What a blessing you are to all your readers. I could not have imagined what the hissing wall would be. Your insight from the Lord about these hissing walls will help us understand one another and pray for one another.

    Dear Lynne,
    Many thanks for another of your very special devotionals. You do a great job of creating great analogies from observing behaviours or actions of one of your pets. Blessings for your writings and for taking on the work to tutor students through Crossroads Prison Ministries.

    Hi Lynne;
    His timing is breath taking.
    I was able to lead the funeral of a very good friend’s younger son.
    Ministry has re-opened on the spiritual team with the local police service.
    Every blessing to you.

    Dear Lynne,
    Thanks so very much for your devotional today.
    Also I want to say thank you for being a friend to those incarcerated as you mark their Bible Studies. I have volunteered at our local correctional facility in Ontario for awhile and know how very, very much those personal notes mean to the inmates.
    That old hymn, “When we all get to Heaven”. WHAT A DAY OF REJOICING THAT WILL BE!! Not only will we see our Saviour but throughout eternity, the lives we have touched with God’s love.
    God bless you and give you the words to meet the individual needs. Thanks so very much.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Well I was really wondering what a “hissing” wall was. I could not guess. I think that is a great way to help Caesar and hopefully Caesar and the dogs will become friends.
    It is great to hear that you are helping students in prison with their studies and that God encouraged you and opened your eyes to how you can reach out. I am sure that you and the students benefit from this experience. We all have so much to learn about our faith. I admire your honesty each time you share with us. It is not easy to admit our feelings and it definitely helps others examine their own thoughts when others share with us theirs. Definitely break down walls, gives us more peace even if it takes awhile for us to get there.
    Thanks for always being willing to share in your own unique way. Blessings.

    Thanks, Lynne.
    That is a powerful challenge.

    Dear Lynn
    What an awesome Devotional today. I so enjoy your writings. You’re a Blessing to all of us.

    HI Lynne,
    This Sunday I am late in reading the devotional. I will confess that today I was to present the Children’s Sermon at church, and it just wasn’t working. I went to church. For Sunday School still not thinking I “had it right.” When I saw the topic for the Pastor’s scripture and sermon, I was able to frame a children’s sermon immediately…. And that is to explain why I am just now responding to the devotional.
    In the “big” city where we lived, there were many avenues for “mission” work… low-income families, etc. In our smaller county there are not as many agencies…the average family income is US $28,000 so there is plenty of need. Our church is very involved in the food bank.
    Thanks for your devotional and reminder to me any way of my many blessings.

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