“Jesus hands were kind hands doing good to all” Hymn 634
I have to admit that my brain has gone for a holiday this week and my ability to think has disappeared. I am sure that you understand what I mean, sometimes all that business and cares of life seem to push out the important things. So here I am sitting outside the manse with a blank sheet in front of me and Hallelujah I found an old story which is a favourite of mine. It is called the Two Brothers, now read on.
“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 labour 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 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. 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 neighboor. 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’llgo him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’tneed to see his place anymore. Cool him down anyhow.”
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 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, and 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 neighbour, 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.”
Every day and in every way the Divine Carpenter movesamong us, unremarkable in His Ways, but Jesus knows our hearts and what really is at the root of unhappiness and hurt. In every way He seeks to heal that hurt, through His Love for us. He might call us to think about the problem and how to overcome it with Love. An argument lasting many years needs mending not fenced off with a “Don’t go there sign”. It is impossible for us to forgive at times or difficult to make the first move, that is when our faith comes to the fore. Place everything in the hands of Jesus and He will help, not always in the way we want but in the best way for us. The Older brother of the story wanted separation, Jesus gave him a much better way of forgiveness and a way for ward in life. He is our strength and if we follow Him we can overcome anything which besets us. Trust in the Lord always.
LET US PRAY
LOVING LORD GOD,
When we feel lost and unsure we are glad that we can turn to You and rest in Your Peace.
When we find ourselves separated from a friend or family through who knows what or why or when, help us to build the bridge that can bring us back together.
When we are unsure about our faith and have doubts about what we believe, send us the Holy Spirit to open up our eyes to the Scriptures and find solace there.
When we are down and just cannot think any more, help us to find that time to be still and that place to take time to reflect as Jesus often did in His Lifetime, taking time to be with You.
In Your presence we have someone to lay our troubles upon, someone to tell what bothers and worries us and in Your eternal kindness You take these and gently blow them away.
We thank You for Your never ending patience and love,
We ask these things in Jesus name.
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