Relationships: Build Bridges…Not Fences…Relationship Building

There once were 2 brothers who lived side by side.  They had lived as neighbors for nearly 25, when finally, they had their first big disagreement.   Both were working men with nice big families, and they both took great care of their homes and yards, and surrounding.  Their families would often have dinner at each other’s houses, watch movies together, and heck, even go on vacations together.  All of this, over 25 years, and NO major issues or problems at all…Ever.

All of the sudden, in the blink of an eye, 25 years of commitment, caring, and brotherhood came to a crashing halt.  It all fell completely apart.  

It began over a very small thing…a simple misunderstanding really. 

But that little misunderstanding grew and grew and grew, until it looked more like a HUGE bitter war.  It got to the point where finally, almost 6 months had gone by without so much as a hello or even a simple nod.

One morning, a knock came to the door of the 1st brother.  He opened it to find a man who worked construction, building, and carpentry.  He said, “Sir, I have fallen on hard times, and I am much in need.  Do you possibly have any work that I could do for you?”

He immediately said, “Yes! I have a great and perfect job for you my friend.  If you look at the neighbor’s yard there…Well, actually, it’s my brother’s yard.  About 6 months ago, our yards were connected with strong, lush, beautiful grass. At that time, he had realigned all of his rain gutters from his home, and routed them away from his basement, because he had been getting water.  They now all drain to the lowest part of his yard, which happens to be the right where his used to meet mine.  You can see there that he has killed all of the great grass that was once there, and it is now overrun by water, muck, and mud.  It looks more like a creek now”

“I really feel like he has done this on purpose, and I now want to 1 up him, and return the favor.  I have a huge lumber pile out back, and I want you to take it all, and build a fence for me.  An 8-foot fence so that I do not have to see his house anymore.  I don’t want to see him, hear from him, or even leave him any way to get from his house to mine, without going the long way around.  This might actually make him change his ways a little bit as well.”

The man said… “Yes…I see exactly what has happened here.  Show me the tools for the job, and lead me to the wood pile, and I will take care of this for you.”

The man worked, and worked, and worked, and worked.

In the evening, when the 1st brother had returned from work, the man had just finished up at the job site.  The brother’s face froze when he saw it…

There was no fence.  He had built a bridge…A bridge re-connecting his yard to his brother’s.  And it wasn’t just any bridge.  This thing was as fine a bridge as any that you would ever see.  A beautiful piece with pickets and a railing, and all stained mahogany wood.  What a beauty! 

And what’s more…To his surprise, he saw his brother, running happily across it, coming right towards him, reaching out his hands, and starting in with a HUGE hug. 

As they were hugging, the brother said, “You are such a great brother.  To go and build a bridge like this to bring us back together, after everything that I have said, and everything that I have done.   I cannot thank you enough!” 

The two brothers stood at the end of the bridge, catching up on old times.  The working man then smiled and began to walk off.  The 1st brother said, “Wait, I have many other jobs for you to do.”  The man replied with, “I would love to stick around and help you out, but my work here is done.  I have many other bridges to build.  You see, this happens way too often, and to way too many people.  And there are not enough people like me around, to get everyone the help that they need. I have been building bridges my whole life.  Maybe you 2 can start building some too.”

-Corey Twigg



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