The Fence
A Spiritual Archives Story from

The Fence

Submitted by Debra <[email protected]> See her comments at the end

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 wanted to share a story with you about words and about friendship. This one certainly made me stop and think. Our Lord has given us the wonderful gift of language to use as a witness for Him and for His creation. How often we misuse this beautiful gift. All too often we are more concerned with ourselves and getting our point across. We forget the damage we can do with words. The most beautiful thing about language is that there's always a way you can say what you need to say without offending or hurting others. We simply need to stop and think before allowing our tongue to spew forth words that will injure. We on the list love the Lord and ALL of His creation. We have the God-given ability to allow others hear heavenly voices when we speak with them about our concerns and beliefs.

This story is a short and simple story. But, sometimes those are the best.

In His Love,


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