Baptist thinker Fred Craddock tells a story about his return to his small west Tennessee hometown each Christmas. Every year he would visit an old friend named Buck who owned a café on the main street of town. Buck would give Craddock a piece of pie and a cup of coffee each visit.
One particular year, Buck and Craddock had a fascinating conversation that focused on a curtain that existed in the restaurant.
“Do you see the curtain?” Buck asked Craddock.
“Yes, Buck, I see the curtain; I always see the curtain.”
The curtain was in the café, separating the front half of the café from the back half. White folks came in the front of the café from the main street, but black folks came in from an alley behind the café. The curtain was there to separate, to separate white people from black people.
Buck looked up at Fred and said, “Fred, the curtain has got to come down.”
“Good,” Craddock responded; “pull her down!”
“That’s easy for you to say,” said Buck. “You come in once a year and tell me how to run my business.”
“Then leave it up,” Craddock countered.
In personal agony, Buck said, “Fred, I take the curtain down, and I lose my customers; I leave that curtain up, and I lose my soul.”
This story got me thinking about another curtain that had to come down. We find out about this curtain when Jesus is on the cross…look with me at Matthew 27:51 where it says, “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.”
God knew that the curtain had to come down. He knew that man needed open communication with God, and the curtain was there as a divider. The only one allowed to enter was the high priest, but God wanted the curtain moved. We needed to remove it, and in some cases we still need to remove it from our hearts and lives so that we can see the true blessings God has for us.
We put up walls, or curtains, by trying to disguise our sin and hurt. We try to hide from the truth, but as we see in John 8:36, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Today, tear down the curtains that are dividing you from others; rip away the veils and expose the truth so that you can move forward with peace of mind. Allow yourself to remove the barriers and enjoy peace and joy today.