Pondering Fences 6/2013
The fence line winds a long, beautiful straight ribbon over the hills and cuts valleys laying down lush green even slices. Posts and spacers count out a rhythm, a regularity, familiar routine. But in all of this safety and seeming control there are individual differences.
Some posts are steels. They are solid, unwavering, and send down strong roots. Immoveable. I told Mark these are his. Other posts are “dancers” wooden, or juniper posts. “Dancers”are they which were once anchored, but are now no longer fixed into the ground. Rather, they float along, keeping time and space. Dancers are expert in foolery until a cow rubs or pushes. They suggest boundaries, but are really very anxious, inpatient with simply blending in. They fear they will be yanked out for not doing their job well enough. Dancers need to trust the Master will come with hammer and staples and stretcher to lovingly right things and make all things new.
I see analogy everywhere. I told Mark, “You are a steel post. I told him , “I am a dancer, barely a post at all.” I must move. Good fortune: I am not rotten like some of these. But I often feel my fence needs mending, as fences are necessary in a world God has created but which man insists on recreating in his own image. In God’s kingdom physical fences are not necessary. All is good, and His children bind themselves to Him not with nails and thorns, barbs of wire, and blood, but with love. Love makes the strongest ties and braces.
In this world of faults and fences, I am at times like so many cows, or deer who walk the line laying down trails. At times of angst or fear, I must leap over or crash through. Eventually I must come around to consequences. But there are better ways.
Dear Lord, I pray, that if I must leap, I leap to Thee in faith and not in desperation. Please set my mind and heart plumb on the line that I may follow the straight and narrow path. I Thank you for those other calmer times in which you held the wires for me as I humbled and stretched to go below and through the difficult fences into greener pastures. May the shadow of death not fall upon me as I build my fence in you, I pray as I ponder fences.