Do you build Bridge or Fence?

by Stephen on January 24, 2013 · 25 comments

in Awakening, Life

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 labor and goods as needed without a conflict.

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 the older brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s tool box.

“I’m looking for a few days’ work.” – he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with?”

“Yes.” – said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor; 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’ll do him one better.”

“See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence –an 8-foot fence — so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.”

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, 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, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

bridge-clipartThe 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 neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his arms 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 onto 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.”

Author Unknown


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nelson Malicdem January 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

What a story! Very inspirational… As a human., or specially as a christian, we should be the way or bridge for the others who became separated because of the conflicts…. Nice. God bless….

2 Ann January 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Very touching..

3 Genevieve January 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Aahh 🙂

It was a nice story. I love touching..thank you for this wonderful story!!:)

God Bless you!!

4 Aye Chan Aung January 24, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I love the story very much:) May there be more & more peace bridge builders in our world which is now full of conflicts & wars!

5 Aye Chan Aung January 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Really a great story:) Thanks:) I will also try my best to be a peace bridge builder for the world:)

6 Esther January 25, 2013 at 4:39 am

Nice one.

7 Gemma January 25, 2013 at 5:11 am

I really love reading the story here, it’s very inspirational. Touch me very much, it teaches us the principle of forgiveness ….Don’t wait for others to make bridge for us.

8 Mosopefoluwa January 25, 2013 at 10:12 am

Wonderful. Principle of forgiveness. Stretch out and be one in love not enemies.

9 Mmalolo January 26, 2013 at 4:22 am

Very touching, what a carpenter!

10 Swarup January 26, 2013 at 4:29 am

“I have many more bridges to build”. A wonderful lesson for all of us. Take the first step.

11 Aysel January 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Thanks, good story.

12 Marcia January 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm

We all have the “tools” to be a “carpenter” of peace and love.

13 Oscar Moanhombo February 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

Thanks Stephen. If we construct bridges we will to reach our enemies and mend broken relationships, but if we build walls around ourselves we will never solve problems.

14 Asheet February 2, 2013 at 7:31 am

Wonderful story….love it ….I promise I will never allow the need of the bridge in my relationships…..never.

15 Amila Kotikawatta February 15, 2013 at 12:41 am

Very nice story, it has so many meanings to think… thanks for publishing this….

16 Bakai February 24, 2013 at 4:13 am

Very thoughtful writer, may we all continue to be positive bridge builders!!!

17 Gbenga Sam April 4, 2013 at 3:08 am

That’s power of Forgiveness and Love, a sense of Reconciliation, a sign of Victory over enmity! Thumb up!

18 Aljean May 7, 2013 at 3:12 am

Everyone should read this. Many people need a bridge too. And this story will be the carpenter:)

Wonderful! 🙂

19 Manju Silas June 7, 2013 at 5:25 am

I am so touched by this story.
Thanks & Rgards,

20 Samradnyee June 10, 2013 at 10:12 am


21 Amarpal Singh July 18, 2013 at 7:35 am

Thanks it is very good and heart touching story.

22 Camilia July 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm

That’s GREAT !!

23 Brian Joseph September 10, 2013 at 5:19 am

Excellent Story. Thank you so much. This will help me in my training Program.


24 Stephen Raj December 19, 2013 at 11:27 pm

It is a meaningful and inspiring story for all of us. We invoke God’s blessings upon us that each one of us may think and act in our own little way to build bridges of love, peace, joy and justice.

25 Sutrisno de sewot April 8, 2014 at 4:51 am

It’s a great story. We may have ex-teacher, ex-husband, ex-wife but we may not have ex-brother. We cannot say, “He’s my ex-brother.” Remember, blood is thicker than water.

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