Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him.
As I sat in church recently, the pastor read a passage of Nehemiah. While he continued on in his delivery, my feet got stuck in the list of workers of the wall.
The quick backstory of Nehemiah is that he had left Jerusalem and was in the service of another king. God birthed a vision in the man far from home that sparked a desire to return to his people and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. After some surveying of the situation the work begins.
As with much of the scripture familiarity can be a death sentence to the story. We get so accustomed to the overarching narrative that we miss the nuggets tucked neatly in the details. On that particular Sunday, I got lost in the mining of truth I had not noticed before.
I knew the story. I knew Nehemiah the visionary. I knew the ending, the wall gets built in spite of opposition. But what I may have seen for the first time or the hundredth time and just never noticed was this passage:
Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him. Nehemiah 3:10
I know little about Jedaiah son of Harumaph. In fact I am unsure if he is found anywhere else in scripture. I’ll confess, I have not done an in depth search for him or his lineage. Yet I was stuck in a simple truth from his life. Jedaiah looked out his front door, saw a situation and did something about it. Jedaiah saw the wall in front of him needing repaired and worked the wall.
Now not to miss, others were working on the wall. But Jedaiah, son of Harumaph, took responsibility for the wall right in front of him.
I think as people of faith there is a lot to learn from this Jerusalem craftsman. We often miss what is right in front of us. We have grown so accustom to the broken places in our sight line that we fail to see them as places that need repaired. Or we continue to brush it off that one day I will tend to that. One day that will get fixed.
And one day passes into the next and it stays unrepaired.
The broken marriage stays broken.
The shattered relationship with your kids stays shattered.
The mess that may not even be of your own making stays a mess.
And day after day it stares back at us begging to be fixed. The wall stays broken, busted and unfixed.
Jedaiah on that day decided to do something about it. He worked his wall. He took responsibility for what lied right in front of him.
It is my job to raise my kids…and work my wall.
It is my job to invest in my marriage…and work my wall.
It is my responsibility to love and demonstrate Jesus to those I work with.
I have to work my wall.
You have to work your wall.
What’s scary is sometimes we completely miss what has been broken until a Nehemiah comes to remind us. Broken walls exist all around us. It is time we quit looking past the broken places in the wall right in front of us. It is time we work our walls.
The prophet Isaiah puts it this way:
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”Isaiah 58:2