My Neighbour's Fence

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Revelation 21:25 – On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (NIV)

I'm looking out my window at my neighbour's fence. It's different than some fences I've seen dividing properties — well, perhaps not all that different in appearance. The logs run from front to back in a long line to mark the edge of his property. There's a gate half way up the walk and a flowerbed bordering the foot of the fence. The difference comes when you stop long enough to see how the fence is really constructed. The logs stop within four or five feet from the end of the property, leaving room for a garden bench where the neighbours from both sides can sit and visit at the end of a lawn-mowing or gardening session. The gate in the middle of the fence has no door. It is always open, creating an invitation for the two families to move back and forth between the properties, to visit or to borrow a cup of sugar. But the most interesting part of this fence is its location. Most fences I've encountered before were placed along the edge of the lot, so close to the line that there wasn't room enough for a mosquito to squeeze between it and the next property. In this case, my neighbour erected the fence nearly a metre inside of his property, and the flowers that border the edge of the fence are planted on both sides — a whole garden for me to enjoy, and I don't have to tend it.

This fence with its open gateway and welcoming presence reminds me of how God welcomes us. In the shade, under the tree, we are invited to sit and commune with Him at the end of our day. We are invited to make our requests known through our prayers. Here on earth, in our gardens and parks, God has given us a glimpse of the beauty that is waiting for us on the other side of the fence when we go to meet Him in heaven. We can admire His handiwork from this side of the fence until we are called to our new home in eternity.

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for revealing Your splendour and Your care for us by giving us glimpses of what You have in store for us when we go to be with You in heaven. Amen.

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Elaine Ingalls Hogg <>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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