The Fence








Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into

conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by

side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a


Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small

misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it

exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man

with a carpenter's tool box. "I'm looking for a few days work" he said.

"Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with?

Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother, "I do have a job for you. Look across the

creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother.

Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the

river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done

this to spite me, but I'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the

barn? I want you to build me a fence; an eight foot fence so I won't need

to see his place or his face anymore.

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails

and the post hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the

materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard

all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer

returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes

opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge --

a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of

work, handrails and all -- and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming

toward them, his hand outstretched.

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and

done." The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the

middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist

his toolbox onto his shoulder.

"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said

the older brother.

"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but, I have many more bridges

to build."


God won't ask what kind of car you drove, but He'll ask how many people

you drove who didn't have transportation.

God won't ask the square footage of your house, but He'll ask how many

people you welcomed into your home.

God won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet, but He'll ask how

many you helped to clothe.

God won't ask what your highest salary was, but He'll ask if you

compromised your character to obtain it.

God won't ask what your job title was, but He'll ask if you performed your

job to the best of your ability.

God won't ask how many f riends you had, but He'll ask how many people to

whom you were a friend.

God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, but He'll ask how you

treated your neighbors.

God won't ask about the color of your skin, but He'll ask about the

content of your character.

God won't ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation, but He'll

lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven, and not to the gates of Hell.

God won't ask how many people you forwarded this too, but He'll ask if you

were ashamed to pass it on to your friends.



"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as 

they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 

2 Peter 1:20-21

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         Revised: April 29, 2005