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(I Don’t) Mind Your Fences

We had a date night at Home Depot last night.  It was more fun than it sounds.  Even Home Depot is fun hanging out with Kelsey!

Some time back, I was speaking at a church and the pastor asked me “How can we bless your family?”.  Honestly, pastors, that question always makes a speaker feel a little strange because we don’t know if you’re offering a car, a check or a cheeseburger.  We don’t want to get specific because we don’t want to assume things…and, we don’t want to ask for a cheeseburger if you’re thinking of writing a check for a car, either.

In this specific instance, I felt very comfortable with the pastor, and candidly said “We need a fence.”

“A fence?” He asked.

Yes, a fence.  We have a great yard – especially great now that the Swimming Pool of Doom is filled with dirt.  It’s almost an acre of fruit trees, low stone walls, and a massive play area, fenced on three sides….which is to say, unfenced.   The Compound sits at the top of a gradual hill.  The driveway is on the down side, so any toddler left wandering natural putzes down the path of least resistance and ends up in the street.  Multiply that tendency times four – Zoe, Anna, Mercy and Piper – and trying to keep them on the hill and in the safe zone is like herding cats.

That night, the church gave us a check to pay to fence in about half the yard – the big, flat half – and last night, Kelsey and I went and spent it.  We bought 4x4s and wood screws and fence panels and concrete and hinges and all sorts of things.  This weekend, friends are helping us assembly the fence and gates. I’m naming the northernmost gate The Dan Gate after the pastor who helped it all happen.

Funny thing about a fence.  It seems confining at first, but it’s liberating in the long run.    It’s going to keep my girls from going everywhere they want to go, but they’re going to love it.  The safety of a fence makes it much easier to say yes when the quartet stares at us and asks “outside?”.  Right now, outside is a dangerous place.  Once fenced, outside is a wonderland and they’ll get to roam it.

There are fences in every adult life that are there for a reason.  They keep us from going certain places, but they’re often places we have no business going.  They may be work related – more often they’re based in your faith.  “Because I believe God’s word matters, I won’t ___________.”   Within the fence, people live with a clean conscience and special freedom in relationships with God and man.    Conversely, the newspaper is full of people who jumped over fences and ran for their lives.  Very few of their stories end well.

I’m going to be thinking about that this weekend as I help dig holes and fence the yard.  This fence means freedom.


2 Responses

  1. good word!

  2. Another thought about the “Dan Gate”. The ancient city of Dan was the northernmost city in Israel. (The ruins are still there today.) So I think your new northernmost gate has a double meaning. 🙂

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