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Faith Moment
February 11, 2013
Building Bridges

Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in their 40 years of working together. It began with a small misunderstanding and grew into a major difference. The disagreement finally exploded into an exchange of bitter words, followed by weeks of silence.

One morning, there was a knock on the older brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days' work," he said. "Perhaps you might have a few small jobs here and there that I could do?”

“Yes,” said the farmer. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's the farm of my younger brother. Last week, there was a meadow between us, but he took his bulldozer and dug a small river between us. Well, I'm going to do him one better. See that pile of old lumber? I want you to build an 8-foot high fence to divide our properties. Then I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."

The carpenter said, "Show me the nails and the tools, and I'll do a good job for you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he left for the day. At sunset, when he returned, his eyes opened wide, and his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. The carpenter had built a bridge that stretched from one side of the river to the other, with handrails and all! And his younger brother was walking across the bridge toward them, his hand outstretched.

"You're quite the guy," he said, "after all I've said and done." The two brothers met in the middle, and shook hands. They turned to see the carpenter leaving.

"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.

"I'd love to," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."

This is the month of February – Love Month. It’s a good time to be considering our relationships. So many families are fragmented; torn apart by disagreement and pain. Perhaps the best gift of love on this Valentine’s Day would be the gift of reconciliation and healing – the gift of bridge building.

With Love,
Mike

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