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Build Bridges not Fences

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Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and 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 explode into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John’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 would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?”

“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us.

Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – – an 8- foot fence – so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”

The older brother had to go to town, 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, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.

It was a bridge — a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all — and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build 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 lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother. “I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but, I have many more bridges to build.”

Author Unknown
Submitted by Richard

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Build Bridges not Fences, 100% based on 24 ratings

9 comments to Build Bridges not Fences

  • Carol sterry

    Beautiful story! Really enjoyed it

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  • ann

    wow..what a great and beautiful story..build BRIDGES not FENCES…
    God won’t let us to have a gap to one another. He gives us people to show that LOVE is much important than pride. this story amaze me through the life of the carpenter..he just do what is right he did not please men but he please the LORD.

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  • isabel

    very inspirational,teaches me about the importance of forgiveness and not hold grudges.thank you

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  • Joe osoro

    Aaaaw! That’s so encouraging teaches us about forgiveness

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  • Elvis

    Great….very encouraging..a nail hit on the head accurately!

    God bless you brother!

    much love,
    Elvis

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  • Prasanth

    Wow. This literally stumped my thoughts about the conclusion.
    Great story.
    Wonderful lesson taught.

    Gr8 job Carpenter (GOD).

    Appreciate sharing it!
    Cheers…

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  • Joseph Benson

    Hmmm! This is an interesting story. It teaches me to help the world stay alive and togather. That I should make the world a better place.
    I feel like the carpenter right now!!! Ha ha ha
    Keep it up brother.

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  • Allen

    superb. God is love and he wants to love and learn how to forgive

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  • Excellent work done by the carpenter….Jesus, the carpenter’s son, came into this world to bridge the gap between heaven and earth for the people in despair…i like this story very much…god bless those who r in this ministry ….

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