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Building Fences



There are fences that can’t be seen but they are as solid as wood and as impenetrable as stone. There are gates that have no keys, gates that hold it all back and keep it all in and stifle the spirit and imprison the soul.

 

Who builds fences in the heart? Who checks love at the gate? Who shouts over the fence? Who says it’s all mine? Who raises the walls higher so that nothing can be seen or known or felt?

 

And so the heart grows colder and the soul ages and life blurs. And we all settle into our little compartments behind our fenced hearts and our sullied souls. And we don’t have a clue to what we have missed or what dreams could have been. We never know who we might have become or what our hearts might have learned.

 

But what if for a day or a lifetime we opened the gate and saw the other side, what if we let a breach widen in the stone and knelt to peek at what lies beyond, what if, just what if we found the key and opened the gate to life and love and grace and mercy unbounded and what if there it was — all beyond the fences we had put up and the gates we had locked. What if all along life had been just beyond our reach behind the fence or through the gate. How might things have been different if there had been no fence, no locked gate, no hard heart, no imprisoned soul.

 

           —Sue Ellen Williams  

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