Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell out. It was the first serious rift in 50 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by months of silence.
One morning there was a knock on one of the brother’s door. John, the older brother, opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work,” he said.
“Perhaps you would have a few small jobs for me to do? I’m here to help you as best I can”
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across that stream at that other farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his digger to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll show him one better. See that pile of timber over by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his place every again, that will teach him!.”
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll get straight to work.”
The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.
The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.
About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped.
There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge… a bridge stretching from one side of the stream to the other! And more to his surprise was his neighbor, his younger brother, coming walking across it, his hand outstretched. Saying loudly;
“You are some boyo, building this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a got other jobs for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but, I have many more bridges to build…..”
“They are blessed who work for peace, for they will be called children of God” – Matthew 5:9
Pray: Make us dear Lord into your peacemakers. Give us courage as we stand on fields of daily conflict. Let us be tools of reconciliation, let us be ambassadors of love to all, let us be like you – peacemakers, that we may be called children of God.