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Oct. 24th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
The Fence
The Fence

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back
fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to
drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested
that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father
that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes
in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw
it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are a very rare
jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts
to us.

I like this illustration because it shows that there is a difference between forgetting and forgiving. To take the nale from the hole in the fence is forgiving. You are letting go of the cause of the hole. You aren't bearing the grudge or the substance of the action that hurt so much. You aren't fully forgetting because you are human. God, on the other hand, can actually forget because He is that merciful and gracious. It's amazing isn't it?
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Sarah Blake LaRose
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