I see our lives as fences. Today, everyone seems to want a privacy fence. Ones with wooden slats nailed closely together that obscure the neighbors’ views of your backyard. It keeps people from watching what you are doing. Perhaps it thwarts the neighborhood gossips. But it also cuts us off from each others lives. If you try and peer through the thin gaps in the slats or an occasional knot hole, you get a distorted picture.
Growing up, everyone had chain-linked fences. Neighbors saw everything. Kids could be seen as they played together. The fences were elbow height, so people could chat together over them. Instead of keeping people out, they were see through enough to invite people into your lives and yet still mark out boundaries. They also lasted forever. They were strong enough to withstand winds and rain and didn’t rot or have to be constantly replaced.
As Christians, I think we need to be chain-linked fences in a private fence world. Intertwined together, we are strong and can withstand any bad weather. Yet, people can still see through us to Christ. We are firm in our boundaries, yet welcoming. We encourage friendships and openness. And, we are built to last forever. Our fence protects us, but it lets the world see what we are. It let’s the light of Christ shine through and beckons people to be a part of our lives, not ward them off.