Friday, March 18, 2016

Fenced In For Good

A fence is two sided; inside and outside.  Often inside is safe, shielding from outside forces.  The house I grew up in had a backyard surrounded by brick fence and along that a green hedge.  Sam the Samoyed, furry and large, would lean into the hedge and walk the circumference of the yard; the hedge supporting and brushing his hair all at once.  Thus the green hedge had a white fur-line at dog height all year long.  The inside of horse stalls and rodeo corrals are lined with horse hair and bull shreds too.

At rodeo the young cowboys sit in a row atop the fence their shirts a quilt of color.  Apart from them the older cowboys lean, sideways near the gate maybe or with butt and backs resting on rung.  The fence supports while inside bulls kick and horses paw. 

Today when we think fence we think of aliens clawing out of their countries and trying to get into ours.  We throw up our hands and build up a wall because it will keep us safe, secure our resources and protect our children.  Because it worked so well at Babylon and Siloam---trusting in man-made towers and barricades.

God has set fences in our lives; visible and invisible.  Like the cowboy we can lean against them.  In leaning we say to our bodies; you can rest—no need to run right now.  We are safely hedged in; even when it looks like the bulls have stormed the gates!  We lean like Sam the Samoyed.  So too we are hedged in. Psalm 16 says, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance,” and in the Message it reads, “You set me up with a house and yard, and then you made me your heir!” 

Cowboys trust fence and gate (until the chute is opened).  Though we may say with the Psalmist, “Many bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me,” we need not fear.  The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places.  We are playing in our Fathers yard.

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