Nehemiah Chapter 3 consists entirely of a list of people who worked with Nehemiah on the repairs of the walls and gates of Jerusalem. Often, I am tempted to skip quickly through the chapters in the Old Testament that merely give a long list of names, but I found this chapter to be really moving. Not only does the chapter lists names, but it also tells which people and families worked on which sections of the walls, and on which gates. You could walk along the walls when they were finished and know who rebuilt each part. If one section of the wall failed, it would be known who didn’t do work that was up to par, and particularly strong sections would also be known by the names of those responsible.
In contemplating this, I was struck how we all have different responsibilities in building the walls that protect us from the enemy of our souls. I considered how well I was doing on my section. Is my family protected? Are the people in my ward who are under my stewardship being given the full benefit of my labors on walls meant to protect them as well? Have I done what is necessary to provide shelter for those who need it (including myself)?
This is an important question, because all of us will be held responsible for the walls we build or neglect. If we neglect those responsibilities, we will regret it at the last, particularly if there are some we could have helped to save. I have a responsibility to my wife and children to do all I can to make my home a haven from the world, and a place where they can have peace. I have a responsibility to those I home teach to see that they are safe, and I have a need to be an example to those who are lost or hurt.
Is my shield of faith, my portable wall, sufficient to shelter those who may need to lean on me in addition to myself? My section of the wall will have my name on it. If it crumbles, or isn’t sufficiently high, my failure will not be anonymous.