Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sand Fences

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass

August 05, 2009

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. –Romans 16:17

Sand fences have been enormously helpful in dividing land and building up dunes. The rickety weathered pickets that are held together with thin wire, comes in large rolls to be stretched out and stuck in the sand. Sand fences don’t look particularly sturdy, but do a wonderful job nonetheless. I’ve captured many photographs of these fences at the beach. In my home, is one wall of framed photos of just sand fences. They captivate me, each with their own story to tell and uniqueness. Not only are the fences effective, but they add texture to the scenery and provide many perches for birds. When storms come and cause the sea to rise, often the fences lose their footing and get washed out, littering the beach with broken pickets. Once gathered, these scraps of weathered wood make nice kindling to start a fire for cool evenings.

Fences can be a really good thing. With the arrival of our little puppy, my husband had to walk the wooden fence of our property to close up remaining holes. Yesterday we realized we missed a place and Barney was already on top it in great thought as to how to make his escape. So once again, out came the hammer and nails and everything was secured in place. If he would only gain another pound or two, we wouldn’t have to worry about him slipping through!

Everywhere we turn, fences and boundaries surround us, whether real or emotional. It can keep us in or keep us out, depending on what side of the fence we choose. It can be comforting at times being inside the fence corralled with everyone else in thought and deed. But God teaches us that some situations and even some people are not good for us. Remember being told as a child, “Don’t follow the crowd”? Our parents meant for us not to succumb to peer pressure. We can get caught up in taking sides on issues, causing great and long lasting divisions and strife. There is never a good time to harbor and nurture these emotional rifts. Stepping away from conflict has great merit. It is up to God to help us discern what side of the fence to be on when we are given a choice. He desires for us to seek Him in prayerful guidance.

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