Dave and George were brothers and had adjoining properties for many years. These properties were adorned with beautiful trees, lush grass, and a small, flowing creek that separated them.
Their relationship had grown distant over the years. One would try things to mend the relationship and the other would bring up past grievances. Then the roles would reverse, and the same results came about. The brothers’ inability to unite continued to cause frustration. Their families cherished spending time together on special occasions, whether they were involved in sports, kids’ school events, holidays, or other occasions. Over time, these relationships deteriorated, and everyone was saddened.
The brothers' disputes worsened, and they each felt increasingly righteous about their positions. As a result, their relationship reached a crescendo. They agreed the only resolution was to have a tall fence built along the creek to separate them and their properties physically and permanently.
And though this agreement satisfied the two of them, it caused terrible grief among the members of the families. Disregarding the family's request, they began to look for The Carpenter who would build the fence. They talked about how high the fence should be and what materials should be used. The expense was unimportant because it would spare them from the pain of seeing each other.
They agreed on The Carpenter and trusted him to know just what to do. The Carpenter, along with others in the community, witnessed and were troubled by these two upstanding men who seemed to be so unforgiving of each other.
Because The Carpenter knew them and their families very well, he asked them to go away on separate vacations while he completed the project. The Carpenter knew there would be more squabbling and arguing during the construction if the brothers were present.
They both arrived back at roughly the same time. They were eager to step outside and take in the peace that the new fence would bring. After all, The Carpenter whom they both knew and trusted, conceived and constructed it.
They both stepped out and looked toward the stream that separated the two of them, and to their amazement, they didn’t find a fence, they found a bridge.
And it was no ordinary bridge; it was made of heavy timbers that would stand the test of time and the architecture of this beautiful bridge added to the landscape. This was a masterpiece constructed by The Carpenter.
There was a sign on the bridge that stated,
“We build fences to keep people out. We build bridges to invite them in. Have a great day.”
It was signed by The Carpenter.
What a wonderful story.
How many times do we build fences where we truly know we need to build bridges?
I love it when we invite The Carpenter to assist us in relationships.
Two bright men, who had allowed something from their past to separate them, could now see an opportunity to connect and that reconnection created joy within their families as well as the community.
Life is short, let’s build some bridges.
Look for the blind spots.
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Blind Spots in Relationships
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