4 things I learned while mending fences
In addition to playing outdoors, my fiancé Dan and I have spent these past several weeks getting some things done around his place. Thank you, COVID-19.
One of the tasks checked off our to-do list was mending a pole fence. Fifty new poles. And that’s just the front yard.
It was a fun project. And honestly, I felt like part frontier woman and part operating room nurse — hefting heavy poles, handing appropriate tools to the
surgeon chief fence-mender.
Tape measure. Check.
Level. Power screw driver. Check. Check.
(There were a few times when the chief fence-mender stood back and kicked any leaning posts into alignment. The assistant fence-mender—that would be me—was quite impressed with his kick-boxing skills.)
Here are 4 secrets to consider before we begin mending fences:
1. Fixing fences will take time and effort.
There was the removing of old posts—some stubbornly held in place by multiple screws and bent nails;
… the uploading of fifty new poles into the back of Dan’s truck. And then the downloading;
… the measuring, sawing, hauling, and holding in place while the chief fence-mender attached each new pole. Time and effort.
2. Repairing fences could get costly.
Fifty poles don’t come free.
3. It can be painful.
There is a rather angry bruise on my right side from hefting nine- and ten-foot shafts of wood off the saw table to the next section of fence.
And a stiff back from collecting scrap wood and stacking it into an artistic arrangement.
4. Mending fences is always, always worth the effort.
Not only is there a gorgeous collection of wood for the outdoor fire pit, but there’s also a solid, new fence framing Dan’s front yard.
The phrase, mending fences, shows up in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. It means, “to improve or repair a relationship that has been damaged by an argument or disagreement.”
Life is made up of hard and holy moments. And some of the holiest of moments occur when good communication and harmony run freely between us and the other people in our lives.
Some of the most painful moments are a result of misunderstandings and hurtful things flung at each other, when the fragile fabric that makes up our most important relationships gets soiled, frayed, shredded to pieces.
Back in A.D. 55 or 56, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the believers in Rome. In it, he included these directions:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:18
It’s nearly impossible to live at peace with everyone.
But Paul isn’t saying that. He’s saying, Do your part.
And our part is to choose fence-mending. Even if it’s not reciprocated.
What if we took the first step to fix the broken-down fences between us and the most important people in our lives?
Could there be some pain and inconvenience involved? Might our efforts not be received?
There could be. They might not be.
Could it get costly?
But would it be worth the time and effort?