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I walked through passport control at Heathrow airport yesterday, clutching my burgundy colored passport with the words European Union, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in gold letters emblazoned across the top.

Signs directed me one of either two ways through UK Border Control.

I moved swiftly through the “UK/EU Passports” line. “All other passports” progressed more slowly.

This experience is likely to change following the historic Brexit referendum last week when fifty two per cent of the British people clinched the vote to leave the EU.

The outcome has shaken me to the core.

I’ve always thought of myself as British, European and a global citizen.

One reason cited for leaving the European Union is so the UK can strengthen its borders. This, it is thought, will make the country safer, stronger, and solidly British.

Yet, each of us needs to ask if putting up barriers is the answer to our fears.

We need to consider that building up barricades leads to tearing down of relationships.

It’s natural to feel more comfortable with people like ourselves. However, we should not set boundaries to shut out others just because they are different. Being on the outside can make you feel insignificant and unimportant.

A barricade blocks your acceptance, unless you meet the requirements. I learned this lesson this week.

Tempted to treasure my work, I created hoops for people to jump through before they had access to my writing. Yet, the work I do is not mine to prize, it is a gift to give.

God does not require us to pass any tests. Access to him is free and clear. No barriers. No demands.

Jesus said “follow me” because if we do, we can walk freely into God’s presence.

Jesus said “follow me” because we are to imitate him.

When we exclude those who are different from being our neighbors or from sitting next to us in the pew, we are not like Jesus.

Jesus did not cross to the other side of the road to keep his distance. Jesus did not look down his nose in disgust. Jesus did not harbor hatred in his heart.

Jesus walked up and talked with a woman with differing theological views. Jesus had compassion on the woman whose morals didn’t match his own. Jesus embraced the woman as his daughter who had no one to vouch for her.

If you have been made to feel not good enough, then know Jesus welcomes everyone and ignores all barriers.

To become like Jesus, we have to behave like him.

Do you, like me, need to search deep inside and examine if you have built up barriers?

Linking up with Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth

  • Rachel,
    I have been thinking about you with all the changes going on with “Brexit”. Our world is in a continuous state of flux. I love what you have to say about not erecting barriers and that to become like Jesus we need to imitate Him and He certainly didn’t build barriers…He tore them down. Food for thought…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • Very timely and very thoughtful. As Christians, we need to take their views from scripture and the example of Jesus, rather than adopt the patterns and behaviors of a world that is not motivated by love. Although I am not politically attuned, your remark about the UK wanting to strengthen its borders, put me in mind of the same American attitude that is advancing Trump’s campaign.
    It is such a sweet relief to be reminded that I am a member of another kingdom with a perfect ruler who is loving and welcoming to all.
    I was encouraged by your attitude regarding your writing. It is an encouragement that we should take the attitude of Christ with everything that we do, including our blogs/writing. Thank you, Rachel

    • I’m glad you were encouraged, Diane. It is a challenge to behave like Christ, but we must. And I have to admit, writing this blog post, God brought to mind a barrier I have put up in my own life. I can’t write this stuff without be changed myself.

  • It is so helpful to me to hear this perspective from a godly woman who is directly affected by the change. I get all my news from NPR and the BBC, so I can’t always entirely trust the basis, but you’ve given me all kinds of reasons to be praying for your homeland.

  • Hi Rachel,

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading my letter. I am also thankful to you for sharing your heart with us about how you feel about the EU Referendum. I was quietly nodding in agreement, as I read each of your thoughtful words.

    Yes, it is heartbreaking, I have been in a kind of a dazed shock over this past week. As I have been talking to God about it, I have felt that call to pray for not only unity, but also for God’s will to be done in the mess. In response I have set up a 31 day prayer structure for those who would like to participate.

    God bless

    Anita

    • Anita, I’ve been travelling and I’ve only just got round to reading comments. I love your 31 day prayer structure idea – going to find it now on your blog. Not too late to join, I hope.

  • I think this is a common fear becoming incresingly prevalent in our global society. Due to the evil of some, we become feraful of anyone different than ourselves and as you so rightly stated, this is not how Jesus lived. Yes, we all need to examine our motives to see where we are building barriers not relationships.
    Thanks Rachel!

  • Rachel,
    I love what you said about your writing being a gift to give since we bloggers are freely offering our writing — what a beautiful perspective! I have a friend who lives outside of London and her views on Brexit are similar to yours, and you articulated so well all of these thoughts about gifts and barriers and freedom in this post. You always make me think and I love that! 🙂

  • Hello Rachel,
    You are so absolutely spot-on with this. If we let fear dictate our beliefs then how will anyone be reached? It is scary yet true. Jesus wouldn’t want any barriers built. He’d wants to be in our midst. Lovely post!

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