You shall see them
on a beautiful quarto page,
where a neat rivulet of text shall meander
through a meadow of margin.
~Excerpt from “School for Scandal” by
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Margins–our lives are lived within all kinds of marginal edges. In botany and entomology scientists talk of margins when they cite data about borders around leaves or the borders of insect wings. The earth itself has what I think of as margins. For example, phenomena like mountains, rivers, forests, or oceans hold things within or without; walled constructs built by the sea are held by nature and man. Even our written documents and texts are kept inside a border of blank space called a margin. In literary works poets and novelists speak of garden walls as the margins around growing spaces. The margins around my backyard gardening spaces as well as the ones in public gardens I visit are fences. Interestingly, at one time the margins around my yard were solely the fence lines, but now it is contained within its confines in places by an assortment of trees, some planted by human hands, others that sprang up by their own devices.
In the scriptural passage below God is telling the people of Jerusalem that although they are in a city without walls, He will protect them by being the barrier between them and their enemies. The Lord does that for His children even when they misuse the reins of free will to wander poorly chosen worldly paths. Fortunately for us we never get so far down those potentially dangerous paths that we are out from under the spread of Yahweh’s mighty wings of grace. When asked, He will pull us into a walled sanctuary where His forgiveness is an ever-standing offer for contrite hearts. And as a fellow blogger noted, He walls our hearts with His love.
“And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,” declares the Lord, “and I will be its glory within. ~Zechariah 2:5 ✝