Often, when we are driving down the road, I will see an old barn or house, dilapidated and long unused, and I think “what if those walls could talk!” I wonder what we would learn about the lives lived there, the hopes and dreams that were discussed, the hopes and dreams that were dashed, the laughter of children that rang through the halls, the cries of delight at holidays … what if those walls could talk!
While visiting Vicksburg, Mississippi, we stopped at the Court Square in downtown. There we saw this plaque which gave the history of the town and its courthouse. It was as if the walls did talk, at least in very brief terms.
The plaque reads:
When Rev. Newet Vick founded Vicksburg in 1819, he designated this city block as a public square, and after the city was incorporated and became the county seat in 1825, a court house was built on the site: it burned in 1856 and the present structure was erected. It was here that federal soldiers lowered the confederate flag and raised the union banner on July 4, 1863, and Gen. U. S. Grant reviewed his victorious army. Many famous Americans have spoken on Court Square, including Zachary Taylor, William McKinley, Booker T. Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt. The building was abandoned as a court house in 1939 and became a museum on June 3, 1948, under the leadership of Mrs. Eva Whitaker Davis and the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society.
Court Square, clearly, was pivotal to the community and many significant events occurred there throughout the 100 years of its history. Now the courthouse is a museum where people, like us, can come and see detailed information about what occurred in the area throughout the years.
What if the walls could talk! The monument gives us some insight into what the walls of the courthouse might say, but not everything is provided there. It is just a sample of the highlights.
The writer of Ecclesiastes talks about the variety of events in one’s life and then warns that we should enjoy those things that God gives us, but we should be aware that there will be a judgment.
“So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity. Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.”
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,”
Some translations of this verse change the word “careless” to “idle” or “empty”. The meaning is the same, and it is sobering. We will not hear the highlights of our lives. Oh no, instead we will hear every careless word that we say … they all will be brought before us when we are being judged before our holy God. Words that we say in anger, words that we say in jest but which cut like knives, words that we say flippantly without seeing the pain inflicted by the harsh tone, words that we say just to sound important, words spoken about others in the stillness of our home … all the words we speak will be splayed out before God on that day.
Then, the walls will talk! Nothing will be hidden … and we will be ashamed.
Praise our Lord and Savior that for those who believe in Jesus through faith in His Word will be covered by His righteousness. Jesus will, in effect, stand in front of us before God and will blot out those hurtful, wasted words so that we will be unblemished through His righteousness.
Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Rest in His atoning work on the cross of Calvary and in His resurrection from the dead. Read His Word and confess and repent of your sin, accepting His forgiveness.
Then, when facing God with our Savior at His side, you will hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Father, I bow in humble thankfulness, gratitude and love, I am in awe of your grace and mercy that was extended to me through Jesus Christ my Savior and Redeemer. Use these simple words to spread your kingdom in our world, My Lord and my God.