Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Father's Fence

Some time ago,  Dayle @ A Collection of This and That  wrote a wonderful post about a fence that her father had built to surround his property. It was an enduring fence, she said, and had served as a  silent witness as her family had grown through the years. 

I loved that post, and it's the inspiration for my yakabout this Sunday morning. It made me think of a fence built by another father I know.

It surrounds this house which belongs to some family friends. 

It's a wonderful picket fence, lined with flowers and interrupted with trellises and enchanting little gates that lead who knows where and hide who knows what.

I love it. 
This isn't the part of their fence I want to yak about this morning, though.

This is.

This big old stockade fence predates the other one by about two decades. It's not nearly as whimsical as the picket fence, but that's OK with the fence builder. It wasn't built for whimsy. It wasn't built for privacy, either.  It was built because of the street.

You see, this home sits on corner lot in an older section of town. The area has blended with the commercial district over the years, making their street a busy thoroughfare and their corner a dangerous intersection.

And this man was trying to raise a family with four small children. 

 Wouldn't you have built a fence?

It took him a long time to build it, too. He's not exactly a hammer-and-nails kind of guy, not in the traditional sense anyway.  He's a pastor, and  he had exactly one day a week for fence building.  It took him months, but when he finally finished, he had built something really special for his children.

Do you know what it was? 

A spacious place. 

You see, without the fence, playtime was problematic. Without the fence, his children had to be watched every moment and kept on tight leashes. It wasn't that this father didn't trust his children; it was just that he knew his children. He knew that like all children, they were prone to wander.  He built the fence to give them a wide open space in which to play.

The father in him likes to yak about that fence. "I didn't build it," he likes to say," because I hated my children.  I built it because I love them." 

And then, the pastor in him likes to compare it to another fence built by another Fence Builder.  God's law, he says, is nothing more than a Father's Fence. He didn't build it because He hates his children. He built it because He loves us.     

Enough said. 

Let's face it folks.  This world is nothing but a busy thoroughfare and a dangerous intersection. Yet right smack dab in the middle of it, our Father has satisfied our adventurous souls by building a spacious place  for his children to play in freedom.  Make no mistake about it though,  we are hemmed in behind and before by the Father's fence.

Because we need that fence.

When was the last time you truly thanked your Father for building it?

You have not given me into the hands of my enemies 
but have set my feet in a spacious place. .
Psalm 31:8

comments off for Sunday


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